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Forum News Service, Published January 29 2014

Damage from potato warehouse fire near Perham estimated at $4.5 million

PERHAM, Minn. - A fire that destroyed an R.D. Offutt Co. potato warehouse last week near Perham caused an estimated $4.5 million in damage, according to Perham Fire Chief Mark Schmidt.

Investigators from the state fire marshal’s office and R.D. Offutt’s insurance company were scheduled to arrive Wednesday to begin their official inspection and determine a final damage estimate.

The warehouse that burned Jan. 21 was northwest of town on Otter Tail County Highway 80. No injuries were reported.

Each of Otter Tail County’s 17 fire departments responded, along with three crews from Becker County, bringing together a Perham Fire District record of 20 departments and 130 firefighters.

The combined forces used almost 1.2 million gallons of water in the fight, Schmidt said.