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Fire destroys N.D. elevator; firefighters treated for frostbite

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DEVILS LAKE, N.D. -- Fire destroyed the Dakota Dry Bean elevator in Devils Lake on Sunday night with two firefighters treated for frostbite after working in the frigid cold.

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About 65 firefighters responded to the 8 p.m. alarm at the former Peavey elevator, but they could not save the structure.

A firefighter on duty spotted the fire, according to Devils Lake Fire Chief Jim Moe. The elevator is only about 300 feet north of the Devils Lake Fire Department headquarters.

“We responded immediately. We made an attempt to get inside, but it was already too dangerous,” Moe said. “So I pulled them out and we let it burn down to a safe level.”

Two firefighters were treated for frostbite and another two were injured in falls, according to Moe.

Dakota Dry Bean owner Dave Polries of Grand Forks said the loss was $1 million — $600,000 for the elevator and its equipment and $400,000 for the 100,000 bushels of pea byproducts inside.

The fire is believed to have started about midway up the elevator, which is about 90 feet tall, according to Moe.

A total of 65 firefighters from Devils Lake and Devils Lake Rural fire departments battled the blaze at its peak. By Monday morning, the fire was being contained by crews of 15, rotating every couple of hours, according to Moe.

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