MONTEVIDEO — Firefighters from four communities endured subzero temperatures fighting an early morning blaze Thursday that destroyed Dan’s Shop Inc., east of Montevideo on Minnesota Highway 7.
The entire building and its contents, including a number of trucks, a large inventory of parts and equipment, were destroyed. There were no injuries reported.
The fire started in the parts department. It had spread into the roof and was advancing through the building when the first firefighters arrived on the scene, according to Davie Roelike, Montevideo Fire Department chief. Firefighters from Clara City, Maynard and Granite Falls provided mutual aid at the scene.
Eight tanker trucks were employed to haul water to the rural location.
Traffic on Highway 7 east of Montevideo had to be rerouted for about an hour due to heavy, thick smoke blowing across the roadway.
The fire was reported shortly after 4:15 a.m., according to the fire chief. The minus 14 degree temperature, with a wind chill of minus 22, made it a difficult fire to battle. Firefighters had a challenging time keeping lines and equipment from freezing, he said.
A Minnesota Department of Transportation snowplow driver is believed to have first spotted and reported the fire.
The cause of the fire was not known. The state fire marshal was on the scene Thursday to begin the investigation into its cause.
Business owner Dan Dirksen and employees of the business began cleanup work at the site Thursday as well. The business sells parts for trucks and also services trucks.
Firefighters remained at the scene until around 2 p.m. Thursday.