Fire at Valley Grain
By Kate Johnson
With only one employee present, Valley Grain Milling -- commonly known as “the grain elevator” -- burst into flames last week. Smoke from the flames soared over the south side of Beulah.
“It was a mechanical failure in the system and it sent hot ambers into the bin it was in,” Rural Beulah Fire Chief Eli Schumann said.
According to Valley Grain Milling, Inc., the bin burst into flames around 5:12 p.m. Sept. 19.
Both the Beulah and Hazen fire departments were on the scene. Due to an automatic mutual aid agreement between Hazen and Beulah, any dispatches for structural fires are answered by both departments.
Mercer County Ambulance was also on the scene but was not needed. With only one employee present at the time, no one was injured.
After hitting the fire in the bin from above, Schumann said they emptied the bin to make sure there were no more hot spots.
“It went as well as to be expected for an explosion in an elevator,” said Schumann. “Everybody is lucky, lucky no one got hurt -- on their side and ours.”
Valley Grain made the statement they are working on replacing the bin with additional safety features, and are hoping to have the pearling mills up and running within a couple weeks.
Valley Grain also voiced its deepest appreciation for the local fire departments, police department, and first responders for their services.