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Fire by committee

Golden Sun building comes down in controlled fire

November 15, 2019
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer ( , Estherville News

The Estherville Fire Department held a controlled burn of the former Golden Sun feed mill just off Central Ave. and North 3rd Streets beginning at 6 a.m. Saturday morning. Emmet County Emergency Management coordinator Travis Sheridan said at a recent city council meeting the Estherville department would need to call in firefighters from surrounding departments for a project of this size.

Wallingford, Gruver, Ringsted, Superior, Terril, Spirit Lake, Arnolds Park/Okoboji and Sibley were the departments that helped with the burn. After hoses hoisted on cranes wet the century-old wood building's exterior to minimize the risk of damage to surrounding buildings and contain the fire, the building was ignited. The fire grew quickly, with flames seen out the top of the remaining structure after the top of the tower had been removed Friday.

The Estherville Fire Department kept a live stream going throughout the nearly two-and-one-half hour process. Viewers from throughout the nation tuned in with comments about their memories of the building, which has been a familiar view coming in to Estherville's downtown for many years.

Article Photos

The live stream had an additional purpose of potentially keeping onlookers in their homes as the department issued several pleas for citizens to stay away from the fire site. Members of the media, spouses of retired and departed firefighters, people whose parents once worked at the mill gathered on the west side of Ace Hardware parking lot to watch at least part of the fire live and take photos.

According to an agreement with the city, Mike and Edith Clarken, who own the property, will dispose of any remaining debris from the burn.



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