VIDEO: Fire burns potato warehouse near Perham
By Elizabeth Huwe
Forum News Service
PERHAM, Minn. -- Fire crews were battling a blaze Tuesday evening at an R.D. Offutt Co. potato warehouse near Perham.
A Perham police officer on the scene said the fire was called in about 4:20 p.m. Witnesses said the fire originated in the south part of the building and spread north.
As of 7:30 p.m., at least 10 area fire departments were assisting at the scene, and the south-facing exterior wall of the building had collapsed.
At least two semi trucks were seen inside the building, engulfed in flames. An unknown amount of potatoes and other contents were also inside.
The building is just west of Perham, on Otter Tail County Highway 80.
According to a news release from the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office, an R.D. Offutt employee reported the fire after noticing smoke coming from the large warehouse.
A Perham police officer at the scene said he did not believe anyone had been injured, but he could not immediately confirm that.
Roads around the area had been blocked off due to the emergency response, but traffic controllers began letting vehicles through later in the evening.
The cause of the fire is unknown and under investigation.
Ron Offutt is the founder and chairman of R.D. Offutt Co., the nation’s largest potato producer. The company’s corporate headquarters is in Fargo.