A major U.S. flour mill in Oregon has been completely destroyed by a devastating fire, with authorities reporting that the building and the grain inside are a “total loss.”
A fire erupted at Pendleton Flour Mills in Eastern Oregon on Wednesday.
Officials reported that a small fire had broken out in a building at the mill on Tuesday.
However, the fire “reignited” on Wednesday, and the mill went up in flames, completely destroying the building and everything inside.
“Yesterday, August 9th at 2:55 p.m., City County Dispatch received a report of black smoke coming from the Pendleton Flour Mills with no visible flames,” Pendleton Police Chief Chuck Byram said in a statement.
“The Pendleton Fire Department responded and extinguished the small fire however remained on scene conducting ‘fire watch.’”
“The fire subsequently reignited at approximately 4:00 this morning [Wednesday] at which time it was fully engulfed due to dry grain, as well the wood structure within,” Byram added.
At 9:30 a.m., firefighters were still working the blaze from every direction, and a drone was flying overhead checking for additional hot spots.
There are no more buildings at risk, according to the Pendleton Fire Department, which is being helped by eight other agencies.
Reports indicate that grain was still “slow burning” on Thursday morning.
“Although the building is a total loss, this will be an ongoing emergent situation due to the amount of grain that is slow burning,” Byram said.
“There have not been any reported injuries.”
People were encouraged to stay out of the area for their own safety, as well as the safety of firemen working diligently to stop the fire.
Around mid-Thursday morning, the flames appeared to have been extinguished, but firefighters are still on the site focusing on the remaining hot spots.
The fire crew has been keeping the structure fire under control and will continue to monitor throughout the night for any hot spots.
Grain Craft, which owns the Pendleton Flour Mills, bills itself as the country’s largest independent flour milling enterprise, according to its website.