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Grain elevator fire in northwestern Minnesota town leads to water ban, school closures

Grain elevator fire leads to water ban in Hawley
Grain elevator fire leads to water ban in Hawley 00:29

Firefighters needed so much water to battle a huge grain elevator blaze that they had to ask the whole town to go without — even canceling school to conserve the water supply, officials said.

The cause of the fire isn't yet known; a fire marshal had arrived Monday morning. It took firefighters responding from 17 communities about eight hours to extinguish the blaze in the town of about 2,200 people, which was reported about 11 p.m. Sunday, said Hawley City Administrator Lonnie Neuner. He wasn't aware of any injuries.  

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Minnesota Elevator Fire
Madalyn Mickelberg / AP

Firefighters even used water from the local golf course because the town's water tower couldn't keep up, Neuner said. Their ladder hoses each use about 600 gallons a minute, about as much as Hawley's system can pump, Neuner said. He expected the city would allow water usage to resume "pretty soon."

The elevator was fully engulfed and destroyed. Monday morning, a backhoe began tearing down what was left of the structure as firefighters sprayed water on the smoldering remains.

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