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Sartell fire chief reflects on tragic explosion

Within minutes of seeing the huge cloud of black smoke billowing from the Verso Paper mill last Monday, Ken Heim says he knew more help was needed. The St. Cloud Times reports by the end of last week, more than 60 departments had joined the effort. Crews will soon begin assessing the damage and looking into what caused the explosion that killed one worker and injured four others. The future of the Sartell plant remains uncertain.
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Within minutes of seeing the huge cloud of black smoke billowing from the Verso Paper mill last Monday, Ken Heim says he knew more help was needed. The St. Cloud Times reports by the end of last week, more than 60 departments had joined the effort. Crews will soon begin assessing the damage and looking into what caused the explosion that killed one worker and injured four others. The future of the Sartell plant remains uncertain.

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Officials rule out criminal activity in Sartell fire

The State Fire Marshal’s Office has finished the on-site investigation of the Verso Paper mill. The deadly explosion and fire claimed the life of one worker and injured four others on Memorial Day. The St. Cloud Times reports the cause of the incident should be released in the coming weeks.

Dayton considers aid for Sartell paper plant

Gov. Mark Dayton plans to call a special legislative session in late July or August to respond to flood damage in northeast Minnesota. The St. Cloud Times reports Dayton has indicated he's also interested in providing state aid for the Verso Paper mill following an explosion and fire on Memorial Day. One worker was killed, four others were injured and most of the 250 workers have been laid off from the Sartell plant.

4 investigations ongoing at Sartell mill

At least four investigations continue at the Verso Paper paper mill in Sartell in the wake of a Memorial Day explosion and fire at the plant. The probes are critical to answering questions about the mill’s future and efforts to put more than 250 people back to work.

Verso pays Sartell for paper mill fire expenses

Verso Paper Corp. on Monday paid the city of Sartell in full – about $398,000 – for its response to a Memorial Day fire that ultimately led to the permanent closing of the company's paper plant, the St. Cloud Times reports. There were 92 agencies from across the state that helped fight the blaze and 68 of those sought repayment.

Damaged Sartell paper mill lays off most employees

Officials from Verso Paper told the St. Cloud Times the majority of its 260 workers have been given layoff notices following the deadly Memorial Day explosion and fire. The incident killed one person and injured four others. The central Minnesota plant is likely to remain idle for several months to complete necessary repairs.

Verso Paper collects $40M in advance insurance settlement

Verso Paper Corp. says it has received about $40 million in insurance money after the explosion and fire that killed one worker and injured four other employees in Sartell, Minn., on Memorial Day, the St. Cloud Times reports. The company expects to collect an additional $44 million settlement.

Sartell tries to envision life after the paper mill

The owners changed over the years, but Sartell's paper mill has provided hundreds of jobs for more than a century. Those days are gone following Verso Paper's decision not to reopen the fire-damaged plant. Now Gov. Dayton will put together a task force to look at how to reuse the 37 acre site on the Mississippi River. Verso says it will share its list of potential buyers.

Dayton, officials pledge support for Sartell in wake of paper mill closing

Gov. Mark Dayton and other government officials said Friday that they will pledge support for the city of Sartell after Verso Paper Corp. announced it was shutting down its fire-damaged paper mill for good. Dayton, who was in Sartell with U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and other lawmakers, vowed to use his clout to bring jobs back to the Verso site. More than 260 employees worked at the plant.