MEEKER COUNTY, MN – The Meeker County Sheriff’s Office responded to two corn dryer fires Nov. 9.
The first was at 4:19 a.m. at a property on 210th Street in Collinwood Township. The Dassel Fire Department was dispatched and extinguished the fire. Approximately $180,000 worth of damage was reported. Dassel Fire Chief Dale Grochow said the dryer was lost, as well as the corn.
“It ended up being about a four-hour deal,” Grochow said, explaining that firefighters had to unload all the corn from the dryer. Grochow said that, fortunately, the Dassel Fire Department hasn’t had to respond to many of these types of fires.
As for grain dryer safety, Grochow said the best thing to do is to make sure the equipment is clean and free of fine accumulation prior to use. However, that doesn’t always prevent a fire, he added, as other things can go wrong, such as malfunction of a burner. In the case of the Nov. 9 fire in Collinwood Township, Grochow said property owner Andy Nelson had cleaned the dryer just before he used it, so the problem wasn’t accumulation.
The second corn dryer fire was at 4:59 p.m. at a residence on County State Aid Highway 16 in Harvey Township. This fire was extinguished by firefighters from Litchfield. About 2,100 bushels of corn were lost.