Fargo, ND Cleaning Plant Fire, Nov 1958


Fargo, N. D. (AP) -- Firemen from two cities fought the worst fire in recent years here today in 15-below-zero temperatures and 20-mile-an-hour winds.
Several cases of frostbite were reported among firemen. One fire fighter, covered with ice and suffering from frostbite, was taken to a hospital.
The fire was discovered at 4:30 a.m. in the R. F. GUNKELMAN and Sons seed cleaning plant and warehouse, between Fifth Street and Broadway on Main Avenue. It threatened to engulf establishments on Broadway -- a major Fargo business street -- and caused evacuation of apartments in nearby buildings.
A savings and loan institution ordered money removed from its building near the blaze.
All Fargo fire rigs and three Moorhead, Minn., units were dispatched to the scene. All off-duty firemen were recalled to duty.
A spokesman for the firm said the building itself was valued at $90,000. He said it was full of bird seed, as well, including expensive sunflower seed and canary seed.
Traffic was being routed away from the scene. Main Avenue -- the major east-west artery through the city -- was blocked.
The building, a former grain elevator, was about six stories high.
Thick clouds of smoke and orange flame shot out of the tall building and were quickly whipped to the south by the stong winds.

Winona Daily News Minnesota 1958-11-29