Trains with CF & E are back running through Pierceton after being halted while firefighters battled the blaze at the former Pierceton Feed Mill. Rail officials also were said to have inspected the scene to ensure safety for train traffic to resume.
Officials with Egg Innovations Organic Feeds are at the scene, but were unavailable for comment.
While the cause of the fire is still unknown, a Pierceton Police Department report states Officer Matt Owens was on patrol at 2:11 a.m. During this patrol he noticed and smelled smoke. He located the source at the old mill on Mill Street.
Arriving closer to the structure he observed flames coming from an area where semitractors unloaded in a bay area and where the bay meets main tower structures. Flames were also seen above the bay and inside the bay area. Owens notes he believed it to be a small fire. He contacted county dispatch to notify the fire department.
Warsaw’s aerial truck was called a short time later followed by Winona Lake’s ladder truck and a full assist from Winona Lake Fire Department.
The fire was attacked with the use of Pierceton’s ladder truck and the two trucks from Warsaw and Winona Lake fire departments. Nearby hydrants were utilized to provide necessary water.
In Owens’ report he notes approximately five minutes later smoke was pouring out of the tower structure. Smoke could also be seen being sucked underneath and into the gravity feed auger assembly in the semitractor bay area, appearing to fuel the fire.
Winona Lake Fire Department was back in service at 7:21 a.m. with Wayne Township/Warsaw Fire Department back in service at 7:25 p.m.
The Kosciusko County Chapter of the American Red Cross Disaster Team was called to provide services to firefighters.
We will continue to update the story as information becomes available.
INITIAL: Pierceton Fire Department, along with several additional fire agencies, are responding to a fire at the Pierceton Feed Mill, 306 E. Mill Street.
Aerial trucks from Pierceton, Winona Lake and Warsaw were utilized to battle the fire. A full assist from Winona Lake Fire Department was requested.
A Pierceton police officer, while on routine patrol, spotted smoke coming from the facility and notified the fire department.
Fire Departments from Claypool and North Webster were put on standby for responding departments.
The structure is owned by Egg Innovations Organic Feeds, Warsaw. According to the Kosciusko County property records, a portion of the structure was built in 1912 and owned at one point by Penn Central.
We will have more information when it becomes available.