Local news

SUNDAY, JULY 16, 2006

Fire destroys storage, processing facility

An agricultural complex at Troy, Idaho, 12 miles east of Moscow, was destroyed Saturday by a fire that began with an explosion shortly before 3 a.m.

The George F. Brocke & Sons processing and storage plant was expected to smolder for several days.

“They’ve pretty well lost everything,” said Dareld Hazeltine, a warehouseman for the Primeland cooperative grain elevator next to the Brocke elevator and processing plant.

He said Brocke’s processing plant and the company’s approximately 100-foot-tall main tower, where the fire started, had burned to the ground by midday, and two shorter, attached storage towers were still burning. The fire burned downward from the top of the structure, according to the Latah County Sheriff’s Office.

No Brocke & Sons spokesman could be reached for comment, but Hazeltine said the Brocke elevator “had a lot of product in it.”

While Primeland focuses on grains, Brocke handles legumes such as peas, lentils and garbanzo beans, according to Hazeltine.

He said firefighters from various agencies kept the blaze from spreading to Primeland’s mostly empty elevator.

“We’re OK at this time,” he said. “If the wind shifts, we could have problems. … It could smolder for quite a while, probably the better part of next week.”

The sheriff’s office said the cause of the fire remained under investigation Saturday.

– John Craig

Post Falls

Man shares remorse with I-90 traffic

Motorists could only guess Saturday about what may have prompted some errant husband and his child to plaster emotional pleas on an Interstate 90 overpass at Post Falls.

A pair of unsigned cloth banners hinted at a domestic strife so emotional that Post Falls police declined to release the messages.

However, a passer-by said one banner appeared to tell an unidentified woman that her husband was “very, very sorry.”

The other banner said, “Mommy, daddy did something really stupid,” according to the passer-by.

Post Falls Police Officer Troy Moss said he and another officer removed the banners for fear they would blow off and cause a wreck.

Moss said police decided not to release the texts because “it’s a pretty emotional issue, and we just don’t want to add to that.”

There was no word on whether the regretful man tried flowers first.

John Craig


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