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Mike Nowatzki, Published April 30 2008

Fire destroys metalwork business in Fergus Falls, Minn.

FERGUS FALLS, Minn. – Foul play is not suspected in a fire that destroyed a metal fabricating business here Tuesday, but the cause may be difficult to determine, Fergus Falls Fire Chief Mark Hovland said.

Firefighters were called at 3:52 p.m. to Jaenisch Industries, which makes custom spiral staircases, metal railings, specialty items and steel artwork.

Hovland said two workers had been welding and grinding metal on the south side of the shop before the fire broke out. Those employees left to do an installation, and workers on the north side of the shop discovered the fire when they smelled smoke and opened the door connecting the two sides, he said.

The south side of the shop also had a woodstove that was being used when the fire started, he said.

“So it’s going to be hard to pinpoint” the cause, he said.

A damage estimate was not available, but Hovland said the building was “pretty much a total loss.”