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Concrete plant catches on fire in NE Minneapolis

Minneapolis fire crews battled a fire at a concrete manufacturing plant in northeast Minneapolis Friday morning that sent up a large plume of smoke.

Article by: Tim Harlow

Updated: December 14, 2012 - 1:35 PM

Minneapolis fire crews battled a fire at a concrete manufacturing plant in northeast Minneapolis Friday morning that sent up a large plume of smoke.

Before fire fighters were able to tamp down the blaze, smoke could be seen for miles and drifted over nearby I-94. 

The fire at the Marshall Concrete Products plant at 2610 Marshall St. NE was reported at about 7:25 a.m., and when crews arrived flames were coming out of the roof of a structure that is about 25 to 30 feet high.

Agnes Fufa, who lives nearby, said the fire was "pretty big," and her daughter Ayaane said the flames were "really high."

Fire crews were able to contain the fire in about 30 minutes, said Fire Marshal Perry Ebner.

Ebner said fire fighters established a "large water curtain" between the fire and the neighboring Siweck Lumber Yard to prevent heat and flames or sparks from reaching the lumber.

Damage to the concrete plant appeared to be minimal, and neither of the two employees at the plant at the time of the fire was injured, Ebner said.

The cause of the fire has not been determined, but officials were looking at a conveyor belt as a possible location for where the fire started. Arson investigators were on the scene as a routine procedure.

The fire and smoke caused traffic jams in the area, and about three blocks of Marshall Avenue were closed for a period.

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