Firefighters: Globe Elevator Fire Causes $2.5 Million in Damages
The Historic Structure Continues to Burn Monday Night
SUPERIOR, Wis. – Fire crews continue working to put out a massive fire at the site of the former Globe grain elevator in Superior that ignited Monday.
The blaze destroyed salvage wood and construction equipment, the damage estimate is currently at $2.5 million.
The fire department said no one has been hurt at the site, which is located at North Second Street and Banks Avenue.
The elevator is currently owned by Old Globe Wood and contract employees from Kiesow Enterprises were working to salvage the wood.
The Superior Fire Department says crews will remain through the night to extinguish hot spots, and the fire was mostly out just before 10 p.m. Monday.
The antique wooden structure hasn’t been used for years but the old-growth wood there has been a major focus of salvage for future use. That process was even featured in the past on the History Channel.
Superior Fire Battalion Chief Scott Gordon says the fire is believed to have started when the salvage crew was cutting down wood.
“There are lots of nails, and they cut something that created a spark, “said Gordon. “They were right there and called 911.”
The Superior Fire Department says by the time they arrived on scene, the flames were so high they could not immediately start fighting it.
“By the time we got a hose to base, the wind caught and it was a chimney effect, there was no chance of going on offensive, we had to go defensive,” said Gordon.
Crews were able to help get the salvage company employees to safety, but they weren’t able to get millions of dollars in construction equipment out of the danger zone.
Part of the elevator had collapsed early on during the fire, and crews created a 225-collapse zone for the 150 foot structure for safety that will remain in place until the fire is put out.
Small propane tanks on forklifts, and hydraulic fluid in cranes are the only explosive substances fire crews has to worry about, so far they say there are no major problems.
The fire department is asking the public to stay away from the area at Banks and Second Avenue due to safety concerns.