PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) The state Fire Marshal’s Office says the cause of a fire that destroyed a grain facility in Miller last week is undetermined. The fire broke out Wednesday night at Miller Grain/Performance Seed. Three million pounds of sunflower seed were held at the facility for storage and cleaning. Miller Fire Chief Stephan Resel says a passerby reported the fire Wednesday night about 11:05 p.m. at the elevator on the south side of town. Fire crews found that it had burned through the roof when they arrived on scene. Resel says about 40 to 50 people were evacuated from their homes because of concerns with the safety of a powder in the building that is used to kill weevils and bugs in grain. Residents were allowed to return home about four hours later. Resel says firefighters from Miller, Ree Heights and Wessington responded to the fire. He says the 40 members of the Miller Fire Department clocked 466 man hours within a three day period of the fire. Cleanup has already begun at the fire scene. Resel says a recovery team has sorted and piled some of the remaining sunflowers from the debris and much of the site has started to be cleared. Paul Merriman, State Fire Marshal says two officials from his office conducted an investigation and the cause of the fire will be recorded as undetermined. He also credits the Miller Fire Department and surrounding mutual-aid departments for their well-trained response to the large blaze.
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