Minnesota snack maker resorts to 'plan B' after Perham potato fire


A Perham-based snack maker scrambled to track down a backup supplier this week after a massive fire destroyed a local potato warehouse.

WDAY reports Barrel O' Fun, a producer of potato chips and other snack food, typically brings in more than 700,000 pounds of potatoes every day.

When a massive fire tore through a 200-foot-by-300-foot building full of potatoes just northwest of Perham Tuesday, Barrel O' Fun was forced to seek help from another supplier in the Red River Valley, WDAY reported.

"We just kind of have to rearrange where we're bringing most of our potatoes in from during this time period," said Kevin Keil, general manager of KLN Family Brands, which owns Barrel O' Fun.

The potato storage warehouse is owned by Fargo-based R.D. Offutt Company, the nation’s largest potato grower, that also supplies potatoes to McDonalds, the Star Tribune reports.

More than 130 firefighters from 20 different departments helped douse the flames with about a million gallons of water. Now, the once smoldering potatoes are encased in ice. Trucks and other equipment were also destroyed.

WDAY says a damage estimate is not yet available. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
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