RENSSELAER — Local firefighters were called in as early as 6:15 a.m. Wednesday morning to deal with a large fire at the ADM grain elevator in Parr, near the Fair Oaks Farms campus.
According to Rensselaer Fire Chief Kenny Haun, fire crews that were called to the scene included Rensselaer, Marion, Remington, Morrocco, Wheatfield, DeMotte, Keener and Lincoln townships. Phoenix Paramedics also arrived at the scene as a precaution.
Keener Fire later reported that Hebron Fire was put on stand-by to cover calls in northern Jasper County. No injuries were reported at the grain elevator fire.
Over the next three hours, they worked to extinguish the fire, which started in a dryer. By approximately 9:30 a.m. that day, crews were wrapping up for their next call. Staff at the elevator were checking the tanks of the elevator for signs of a fire with thermal imaging.
“I think we’re going to be OK,” Haun said as fire crews began packing up their supplies. “When we arrived on the scene, (the dryer) was fully engulfed. I mean it looked like a blow torch, a big blow torch.”
Several local companies offered supplies to help the firefighters at the scene.
“Big ‘Thank you’ to (Windy Ridge) Dairy Farms for supplying us with water,” Haun said, “Huge ‘thank you.’”
Haun also thanked Marriott’s new Fairfield Inn & Suites at Fair Oaks Farms for contributing water as well.
In addition to the trucks or crews from so many nearby fire departments at the scene, Haun said Remington’s department provided its aerial truck since Rensselaer’s own aerial is currently being repaired.
“We’re hoping to have it back (by) maybe the end of next week,” Haun said. “I haven’t got a price yet.”
Though the truck is being repaired, Haun hopes the ladder will not need to be removed, which could delay the truck’s use for quite a long time.
“It looks like they’re not going to have to take it off,” he said. “They’re going to put these pieces on, see how it works, and then go from there.”
Management at the grain elevator said they could not comment on the incident directly.