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Forum News Service, Published December 07 2013

Fire destroys rural Jamestown shop building

JAMESTOWN, N.D. – A fire destroyed a shop building in rural Jamestown by early Saturday, but firefighters prevented the blaze from spreading despite harsh weather conditions.

The fire call came about 10:20 p.m. Friday, and 18 firefighters with eight trucks responded.

The building that was on fire was just 3 feet from another shop building, said Rick Woehl, chief of the Rural Jamestown Fire Department, and numerous propane tanks were inside the burning building. Firefighters were able to remove them before the fire got to them, but some acetylene tanks did burn with the structure.

A wood-burning stove is believed to have caused the blaze.

The severe cold made fighting the fire harder.

“The minute we would unhook a hose to switch trucks, the water would freeze instantly on the couplers," Woehl said. “Every time we were to unhook and then rehook on the next tanker, everything was iced up in seconds.”

Firefighters used portable propane torches to keep the valves on the trucks from freezing.

The scene was cleared at 3:30 a.m. Saturday.