Inferno destroys Judd Elevator

DUNCOMBE – An old grain elevator west of Duncombe was destroyed in a fire early Saturday morning.

No one was injured in the blaze that claimed the Judd Elevator. The cause of the fire hasn’t been determined.

Duncombe Fire Chief Daryl Hanson said the fire was reported at 4:24 a.m. The destroyed elevator was on 220th Street near Union Avenue, about two miles west of Duncombe.

The structure was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived, according to Hanson.

”There was no way to save it so we kept everyone back,” he said.

Firefighting operations focused on keeping the blazing elevator from collapsing onto nearby railroad tracks and power lines. Hanson said strong winds from the south complicated the effort.

He said firefighters used a ground monitor, which is a large nozzle fed by one or more hose lines, to keep the blaze in check. The all-volunteer Duncombe Fire Department was able to buy that device a few years ago with the aid of a federal grant.

Water had to be brought to the scene in tanker trucks which were filled up at a hydrant in Duncombe. Hanson estimated that 22,000 gallons of water were used to extinguish the blaze.

The elevator hasn’t been used in about 10 years. Hanson said he believes there’s been an elevator at that location since the Civil War.

Firefighters from Duncombe, Otho, Vincent and Lehigh responded.