Historic Globe Grain Elevator Catches Fire in Superior [VIDEO]
Update 10:30 pm
Update 5:45 pm
It is being reported (via KBJR 6) by Superior Fire Department officials that the fire started while salvage crews were collecting wood from the structure. While cutting pieces of wood from the building, sparks from the process, possibly a saw hitting nails and causing sparks, lit dry wood from the structure on fire, and the crews collecting wood from the elevator are the ones that called 911.
Update 4:56 pm
Fire crews reported to the scene of a fire at the historic Globe grain elevator in Superior on Monday afternoon around 3 pm. The elevator, located just down the banks of the St. Louis River from the Blatnik Bridge, spewed a plume of black smoke visible from past the Miller Hill Mall, drifting from the fire toward Duluth, over the Blatnik Bridge. The smoke did not close the bridge, but did prompt cautionary signs about limited visibility for those crossing the bridge.
WDIO is reporting that the fire is more than 120 years old, and was once the biggest grain elevator in the world when it was built in the 1880s.
A structure adjacent to the elevator tower collapsed (as seen in the video immediately below) after being fully engulfed in flames for a time. A collapse zone has been set up around the tower, as flames continue to burn all around it. Officials warn the public to stay away from the fire area and collapse zone. The collapse zone is just over 200 feet from the structure, ensuring safety if the 150 foot structure collapses, which is a significant possibility.
Superior Mayor Jim Paine shared a message on Facebook, sharing that there have been no injuries and explaining that while this fire could burn for some time, the smoke is not nearly as dangerous as that from the Husky fire earlier this year. He explained that the structure is built out of untreated wood, producing smoke similar to that of a bonfire, and there are no toxic chemicals. Even then, people sensitive to smoke in Duluth should be aware of the plume of smoke, and take proper precautions to avoid exposure.
The mayor expects this fire to burn for a couple days, and crews are actively fighting the fire using water from the St. Louis River.
We noticed a plume of black smoke coming from the direction of the Blatnik Bridge, and decided to take a drive over the bridge to see if we could see what was happening. One of the grain elevators caught fire and was raging. It appeared to us that the structure was a total loss.