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Fire in dust collector causes smoke at Chappell Central in Willmar

WILLMAR -- A smoldering fire in a laser cutter's dust collection and ventilation system caused some smoke but not much fire at Chappell Central, Trott Avenue and Industrial Drive Southwest, in Willmar Monday night.

WILLMAR -- A smoldering fire in a laser cutter’s dust collection and ventilation system caused some smoke but not much fire at Chappell Central, Trott Avenue and Industrial Drive Southwest, in Willmar Monday night.

Willmar Fire Chief Frank Hanson said today that the smoke was discovered when the cleaning crew opened the door. No one was in the building at the time. Willmar firefighters were called at about 7:56 p.m. and received mutual aid from Pennock, Spicer and Kandiyohi fire departments. Willmar Ambulance and Kandiyohi County Rescue Squad were also called.

The cause of the fire was not determined. But Hanson said a spark from cutting stainless steel could have caused the fire. He guessed the fire burned for about an hour before it was discovered.

Hanson said firefighters used thermal imaging cameras to find the location of the heat and they had to dismantle the ventilation system get at the fire. Firefighters were on the scene until about 10:30 p.m.

Hanson said no one was hurt.

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β€œWe were very fortunate no one was in there,’’ he said.

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