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(Photo: Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald)

North Dakota potato warehouses destroyed in fire

Edinburg, N.D. lost nearly seven decades of history when four potato warehouses burned to the ground last week. Edinburg is about 75 miles northwest of Grand Forks.

Multiple fire departments responded shortly after 4 a.m. to the blaze at warehouses owned by J.G. Hall and Sons, one of the largest potato producers in the Red River Valley. It’s unclear how the fire started, but the flames moved from one building to the next as firefighters tried to put out the fire in freezing temperatures and windy conditions.

The warehouses sit along the railroad tracks on the northeast corner of North Dakota Highway 32 and Third Avenue. The Hall family first constructed a potato washing building at that spot in 1950, when the producers started washing and packaging potatoes. Based in Hoople, the Halls had farmed in the Valley long before they formed their company. Over time, they added to the Edinburg facility.

An Edinburg resident spotted the flames, said Greg Hall, a partner in J.G. Hall and Sons. No one was inside the building when the fire started and no injuries were reported, he added.

The Halls stopped using the warehouses to wash potatoes several years ago and instead stored equipment there, Hall said, adding there wasn’t a lot of equipment there.

Strong winds that gusted more than 30 mph hampered efforts to fight the blaze, but firefighters kept the flames away from a propane tank, Hall said.

Source: Grand Forks Herald

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