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Forum staff reports, Published February 22 2014

Firefighters respond to corn dryer blaze

GLYNDON, Minn. – Several firefighters were called to a farm near here Saturday evening when a corn dryer caught fire on a private farm.

Glyndon Fire and Rescue Chief Bob Cuchna said the fire was reported at about 6:45 p.m. at 12996 28th Ave. S. in rural Glyndon. Six firefighters got the blaze under control in about 20 minutes, he said, and remained on scene until shortly before 10 p.m.

Officials still aren’t sure exactly what happened, though he said the farmers there were drying corn at the time and fires like this are “not unusual” because the units are fairly automated and dried by a propane heater.

“We got there, turned off the power and turned the gas off and started spraying water on it,” he said. “These dryers are made for a lot of air movement and corn movement, but they’re not any good for us getting water in from the outside.”

Cuchna said firefighters had to spray water in from above and below, as well as through some holes made in the outside of the unit.

There was no estimate of damage Saturday night, but he said the 1,300 bushels of corn inside at the time was destroyed and the dryer was damaged.

The farm is owned by Johnson Farms and operated by Kyle Johnson, he said.