Fire destroyed a machine shed on the property of Bill Tulenchik in Maple Township on Monday, Jan. 21.
Fire departments from Pine River, Backus, Pequot Lakes, Nisswa and Ideal Corners responded to the fire call at 12:23 p.m. on Cass County Road 17 south of Pine River. The fire was under control by 2:30 p.m.
The fire resulted in no injuries, but the property owner did sustain significant losses as the 50-foot by 80-foot shed housed a pickup truck, welding supplies, a silage wagon and various pieces of heavy equipment. Pine River Fire Chief Kevin Kleiner said approximately 2,800 gallons of water were used to extinguish the fire.
In spite of frigid temperatures and strong winds, firefighters fought to prevent the fire from spreading to another building roughly six feet from the machine shed. That structure was preserved.
“The ability to save that structure was a plus for the day,” Kleiner said.
In addition to strong winds and impenetrable smoke, below zero temperatures complicated the situation by icing up air masks and equipment.
“If you get any amount of water on you it’s going to turn to ice,” Kleiner said. “The wind chills, definitely, you definitely want to ask the firefighters more often if they want to go warm up because it’s pretty miserable.”
The fire chief said the cause of the fire is still being investigated.