Local Grain Elevator Fire Cause Unknown
Wellington Fire and EMS responded to a reported structure fire at 20th South & Seneca of reported flames on top of a grain elevator Saturday at 3:26 p.m. Upon arrival, two silos 154 feet tall and with one containing approximately 430,000 bushels of wheat and the other approximately 400,000 bushels of soybeans, had flames on top of the silos.
Fire Chief Tim Hay said, “A tender water shuttle was set up to 3 different fire hydrants to supply a 75 foot Aerial Truck. Another Aerial Truck was requested from Winfield Fire to be used on the south side of the incident.”
Firefighters eventually extinguished visible fire on the top of the silos and on various grain transfer equipment between the silos. During extinguishment, chunks of cement began falling north from the silos and grain transfer equipment also fell.
Water was applied for 3 ½ hours with an application of approximately 250,000 gallons of water.
Scoular Grain personnel determined the best course of removing smoldering grain was to bring in a salvage company with cranes to remove the top several feet of the silos until the smoldering grain was completely removed.
Hay said, “The grain will continue to smolder and cause an odor and visible smoke until the salvage operations are completed. There was always a chance of explosion during this incident but due to the silos being full of grain the explosion chances were diminished,”
Scoular personnel, owners, will monitor this event throughout.
Chief Hay said, “At this time, the fire loss amount and the cause of the fire are unknown.”
Mutual aid was provided from surrounding towns with 31 personnel on scene assisting.