The storm hampered Wadena’s fire efforts; shop building a total loss

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The fire that sparked a shelter-in-place order for the entire town of Wadena left the building it burned a total loss.

The Wadena Fire Department provided an update on Monday’s fire at Minnesota Valley Irrigation, with the fire erupting just before 3 p.m. in a large store building that was used “for storage and d ‘equipment”.

The blaze sparked a citywide shelter-in-place order, with concerns over chemicals in the building sending hazardous materials into the air.

Police later said people were not believed to have breathed in toxic fumes, but efforts to mitigate the blaze were briefly hampered by storms that swept through the state.

The fire department says around 6 p.m., firefighters had to be evacuated from the scene due to a tornado warning in the area, with crews sheltering at the Wadena County Courthouse. They hid for about 30 minutes, after which they returned to the scene.

The shelter-in-place order was later lifted when the fire was brought under control, but the fire department declared the building a total loss.

At this time, it is not known what started the fire. The Minnesota State Fire Marshal is currently investigating.

A total of nine firefighters were called to the scene to fight the blaze.

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