Local news


Blaze razes grain elevator in Odessa

THURSDAY, OCT. 18, 2012

Wheat, barley and canola were damaged when a fire destroyed a grain elevator in Odessa, Wash., on Tuesday night.
Wheat, barley and canola were damaged when a fire destroyed a grain elevator in Odessa, Wash., on Tuesday night.

Fire causes $500,000 in damage

Fire destroyed an Odessa, Wash., grain elevator Tuesday night, burning more than 20,000 bushels of wheat, barley and canola.

The cause of the fire at the Odessa Union Warehouse Cooperative’s easternmost grain elevator in the small town 60 miles southwest of Spokane remained under investigation.

Losses are estimated at more than $500,000.

The blaze started after 8 p.m., said Byron Behne, marketing manager for AGVentures NW LLC, which manages Odessa Union along with Reardan Grain Growers Inc.

No one was hurt by the fire, which attracted more than 100 spectators, he said. It continued to burn Wednesday morning.

There was no one at the elevator when the fire started, Behne said. Grain was not being loaded or unloaded.

The elevator was among about a dozen in Odessa. It was divided into several compartments to hold different kinds of grains, but it was relatively small and not filled to capacity, Behne said.

The elevator held between 10,000 and 15,000 bushels of soft white wheat, 9,000 bushels of dark northern spring wheat, about 200 tons of barley and some 2,000 bushels of canola.

The cooperative is among the state’s largest and oldest, serving farmers in Eastern Washington for more than a century.



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