Electrical fire destroys office space at Plankinton grain elevator
PLANKINTON -- A Thursday morning fire at Ag Kota Grain in Plankinton will keep the a portion of the business closed until Monday. Travis Weich, Ag Kota Grain's Plankinton branch manager, said the company's office space was a total loss following ...
PLANKINTON - A Thursday morning fire at Ag Kota Grain in Plankinton will keep the a portion of the business closed until Monday.
Travis Weich, Ag Kota Grain's Plankinton branch manager, said the company's office space was a total loss following the early morning fire caused by a window air conditioner.
Weich said the fire also damaged the elevator's truck scale, which will need to be replaced or repaired before Ag Kota can return to normal business operations. He expects the scale will be back up and running or replaced by Tuesday at the latest, and the business will be managed out of temporary on-site office space until a new office is built.
Following the fire, Weich hopes to keep some aspects of the business accessible to customers as much as possible.
"We're going to be down for a little bit, but we're still going to be open for regular business as much as we can until we get our scale back in order," Weich said. "So to all our patrons and customers, don't be afraid to stop by, and we'll help you out the best we can."
Plankinton Fire Chief Jeff Briggs said the fire at the grain elevator began at about 7:07 a.m. and took nearly 90 minutes to contain. He said the fire is being investigated by the South Dakota Fire Marshal's Office, but Briggs said the fire was not likely suspicious.
One employee was in the building at the time of the fire, but Briggs said they were unharmed.
Weich was thankful no one was hurt in the fire, and despite the loss of the office space and other smoke damage, he praised the work of the various local firefighters on scene who contained the blaze and prevented additional damage.
"Our local fire department here, as well as some other communities, did a real nice job at putting it out and knocking it down," Weich said.
According to Briggs, the White Lake, Stickney and Armour fire departments joined the Plankinton department at the scene, with the Plankinton firefighters returning back to the station at 10:45 a.m.
Ag Kota Grain, formerly Plankinton Elevator Company, was initially organized in 1885 and continues to buy and sell grain including winter and spring wheat, corn, beans, oats and milo. According to the company's website, Ag Kota Grain also grades, cleans and delivers grain.
Ag Kota Grain has locations in both Plankinton and Woonsocket.