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Craigmont declares emergency after massive grain elevator fire

Published On: May 12 2013 09:22:05 PM CDT
Updated On: May 13 2013 02:17:19 PM CDT
craigmont fire

Jordan Tonn

CRAIGMONT, Idaho -

The city of Craigmont, Idaho declared a state of emergency in the wake of a massive grain elevator Sunday afternoon.

There were no reported injuries or deaths as a result of the fire.

Nezperce dispatchers received the first call of a fire at 2:25 p.m. in the Hinrichs Trading Company's garbanzo bean elevator and the first fire units from Craigmont arrived moments later.

The fire's spread prompted a massive interstate mobilization of fire and law enforcement personnel from Craigmont, Lewiston, Kamiah, St. Maries, Nezperce, Koosia, Ferdinand, Cottonwood, Asotin County and Lewis County sending fire, ambulance and deputies to the scene to fight the massive blaze.

The fire quickly spread to three nearby Columbia Grain bins, prompting local police to evacuate several blocks in the vicinity of the fire. A temporary shelter was set up in the Highland High School gym for displaced families.

Craigmont issued an emergency declaration at 3 p.m., followed at 9:10 p.m. by Lewis County.

Fire crews worked through the night to protect a nearby Columbia Grain office and storage building. Five structures in an area of approximately two city blocks were destroyed in the fire including three grain elevators, a flat house connected to one elevator and a maintenance shop.

The elevators contained garbanzo beans, wheat, barley and peas. No chemicals or fertilizer was stored on-site.

School was canceled for the city of Craigmont Monday due to smoke concerns.

An Idaho State Fire Marshall from Lewiston has been called in to investigate the cause and origin of the fire. The damage assessment is underway and there is no estimate yet of the cost of the damage done by the fire.

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