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Fire damages silo at millwork company

BLACK RIVER FALLS, Wis. - An early morning fire on Monday damaged a silo at a millwork company in Black River Falls.

Black River Falls Fire Chief Steve Schreiber says firefighters were called to the Hart Tie and Lumber Company, 518 Winnebago Ave., at about 4:30 a.m.

When firefighters arrived on scene, they saw smoke coming from the bottom of the metal bin that contained saw dust. An employee used a fire extinguisher to knock down the fire, which was in the area where an auger takes the saw dust matter from the bottom of the bin and feeds it into a boiler which supplies heat to the large onsite wood drying kilns.

Chief Schrieber says the power to the auger was disconnected and the fire. Their thermal imaging camera did not show any hot spots in the bin at that time.

Chief Shcrieber says there was a concern that the fire may have extended into the saw dust within the metal and company employees were going to keep watch. Firefighters cleared the scene at 5:16 a.m. but they were called back at 7:37 a.m. when flames were coming out of the top of the metal bin.

Company employees moved a portable auger away from the bin, which allowed crews to get their aerial truck in position near the bin. Firefighters pumped 59,500 gallons of water into the bin to put out the fire.

No one was injured in the fire. While crews were on scene, Black River Falls police and street departments closed Winnebago Avenue so crews could lay a supply line from a fire hydrant to its aerial truck. The cost of the damage is not known at this time.

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