Warehouse fire burned 10 million pounds of potatoes in ND


A weekend fire that destroyed a Red River Valley warehouse and the 10 million pounds of potatoes it contained is still smoldering too much for authorities to investigate the cause, the Grand Forks Herald reports.

The fire at the Campbell Farms warehouse three miles east of Grafton, North Dakota, destroyed about 15 percent of the potato supplier's fall harvest, cofounder Tom Campbell told the Herald. Campbell says the cost of the damage will be in the millions.

The blaze was reported at about 12:30 a.m. Saturday and had engulfed the warehouse before firefighters from Grafton, Minto, and Park River arrived, KFGO reported.

With no hydrants serving the area, Grafton assistant fire chief Jeff Moe told WDAZ tankers and pumpers were brought in to help fight the fire.

Three days after the fire, Campbell told the Herald there's still too much smoke at the smoldering warehouse for investigators to begin their work.

Campbell tells the paper he was shocked to learn of the fire, partly because there was no equipment in the building, which he says "was full of beautiful potatoes."

Campbell also serves in the North Dakota state Senate.  The Republican was first elected in 2012 and re-elected two years later with 64 percent of the vote.

He's been mentioned as a possible successor to retiring Gov. Jack Dalrymple and told the Grand Forks Herald last month he's always aspired to the office.

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