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Jan 24, 2013 7:59 PM by Akeam Ashford

Fire in Mermantau Corn Silo

The Louisiana Rice Mill in Mermentau is rebuilding after a fire caused damage to one of their grain silo's yesterday evening. Acadia Parish Fire Chief James Romero says he got the call just after seven.

The Fire Chief says when he arrives on a scene there are a few questions he asks himself. "When we first got on scene our first question was, was it a wood structure or not, and then we found out it wasn't a wood structure which was a big relief." The fire chief says he and his crew were able to contain the fire to just one silo.

The company hopes to start accepting new shipments by the middle of next week, but as of now, the 150 workers are only processing existing crop until the damaged silo is up and running.

A company spokesman says the cause of fire is unknown at this time, but Romero says he has a good idea as to what may have started it. "We're pretty sure that it started at one of the milling machines either a rock or a piece of steel got into the milling machines causing a spark..."

The fire chief says the silo is made up of filters which pull the corn from the original part of the crop. He says those filters sustained the most damage in the fire.

A company spokesman says he is baffled by what could have caused the fire because it is a very rare occurrence.

The company is currently investigating the cause of the fire, and hopes to have a final outcome by next week.

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