Fire destroys machinery dealership in west-central Minnesota, forcing evacuations
After residents from 17 homes were evacuated Tuesday night, firefighters were able to control a blaze at Midwest Machinery in Madison. No injuries were reported
MADISON, Minn. — The primary offices and shop building of Midwest Machinery were destroyed by fire Tuesday night in Madison.
People from 17 residences were evacuated from their homes and a citywide water restriction was requested in order to help firefighters put out the major structure fire, complicated by a broken gas line.
According to a joint news release from the city, Lac qui Parle County Emergency Management and the Lac qui Parle County Sheriff’s Office, a large fire broke out at the Midwest Machinery John Deere dealer in Madison. A caller reported seeing smoke, and fire crews, law enforcement and ambulance crews were dispatched around 7:12 p.m. Tuesday to the scene at 516 First Street.
Mutual aid was immediately requested by the Madison Fire Department, which included additional fire crews from surrounding areas and pumper trucks, to help control the blaze. According to the release, a local gas line was ruptured during the fire and made things more difficult for firefighters.
Fifteen homes and two apartments were evacuated due to smoke and inhalation concerns. A reunification center was set up at Madison Mercantile for evacuees to meet and make lodging plans and receive updates from friends and family.
Minnesota Highway 40 was barricaded along with Park Avenue to keep the greater public away from the fire. According to the release, residents as far as 10 miles north of Madison reported smelling smoke from the plume.
At the time of the release, around 2:17 a.m. Wednesday, the fire was under control and residents were allowed to return to their homes after the smoke plume subsided. However, firefighters were still putting out hotspots and tearing down parts of the building. No injuries were reported.
The cause of the fire is not currently known and remains under investigation, according to the release.
More than 60 personnel from 23 agencies assisted at the scene.
Those agencies were Madison Fire, Madison Ambulance, City of Madison, Lac qui Parle County Sheriff’s Office, Lac qui Parle County Emergency Management, Countryside Public Health, Dawson Fire, Marietta Fire, Marietta Ambulance, Montevideo Fire, Ortonville Fire, Bellingham Fire, Appleton Fire, Canby Fire, Nassau Fire, Milan Fire, Boyd Fire and Odessa Fire, all from Minnesota; the Minnesota Highway Patrol; South Dakota agencies responding included Big Stone Fire, Revillo Fire, Milbank Fire and Grant County, South Dakota, Emergency Management.