By ROBERT S MERRILL
PRESTON – The cause of a $5 million fire that destroyed a grain mill at Valley Wide Co-op (Franklin County Grain Growers) 264 S. State, Preston, has still not been determined.
Fire District Fire Marshal Scott Martin said he is still piecing information together regarding the cause of the fire. “We’ve pinpointed the area where the fire started and I am reviewing things this week with the State Fire Marshal,” he said.
The fire spread very fast and was already exiting the roof of the main elevator when the first crews arrived at 3:55 p.m. on March 7. The call came in at 3:49 p.m. Fire crews stayed on the scene until 11:59 p.m. that night mopping up and watching for hot spots in the granary tower and adjacent grain storage bins.
The structure was insured. There were no injuries.
There was a rekindle at 4 a.m. the following morning and a fire crew on stand-by extinguished the second blaze. A second rekindle was noticed approximately 3:40 p.m. that Thursday afternoon and a fire truck was called to the burnt-out structure to douse the hot spot, said Martin.
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