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Fire in Backus destroys workshop, no injuries

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Fire destroyed a welding shop in Backus owned by Scamp Travel Trailers on April 18, the Backus Fire Department reported.

Firefighters responded at approximately 7:45 p.m. to the building on Fourth Street Northwest. The fire spread quickly through the attic, causing the roof to collapse in part of the building, but firefighters were able to extract various pieces of equipment, including welders, a file cabinet and other items.

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Nobody was present at the start of the fire, and nobody was injured.

The Pine River Fire Department provided mutual aid, and Hackensack firefighters assisted by responding to a separate call regarding a carbon monoxide alarm.

Because a roof collapse obscured the fire’s position, Kurt Sawyer of Backus was contacted to assist in removing roof sections using heavy machinery. Firefighters were then able to extinguish the fire.

Scamp Travel Trailers used the building for welding frames. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Total losses are not yet known.

“We aren’t able to touch any of the stuff until insurance has a chance to look at it, and the fire marshal and they get together and all that good stuff. We’re not exactly sure what’s good and what’s bad yet,” said Micah Eveland, Scamp service manager. “A lot of it looks good yet.”

Those who worked in the shop are expected to be able to return to work soon.

“We have a bunch of outbuildings here and we are actually setting up shop in a couple of days,” Eveland said. “Right now we have three (workers from the shop). Typically it's going to be two.”

Backus Fire Chief Jason Smith said the fire is being investigated as a standard procedure and no cause has been announced.

“Any time you have a fire it’s unfortunate, but it is what it is and we’ll have to work around it and make the best we can out of it,” Eveland said.

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