Authorities say an Andover bee business was destroyed after flames tore through it Sunday.
The Andover Fire Department went out to the Taylor Honey Company around 1:15 p.m. Sunday. A large metal building was completely engulfed in flames.
Andover Fire quickly requested Pierpont, Bristol, Groton and Webster Fire Departments be called to assist. In addition to the fire units, Day County Sheriff's Office, Day County Emergency Management, South Dakota Highway Patrol, and South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks personnel all participated in traffic control, coordination of resources, and evacuation of houses in the area south of the blaze due to heavy smoke. No hazardous materials were known to be stored in the building.
The building had contained bee hives, honey, beeswax, and other items associated with the business.
Crews say the fire was caused by a malfunctioning gas engine on a pump being used to transfer honey from a storage tank to a transport tank. Workers who were using the pump told fire officials that the engine backfired and then burst into flames.
As a precaution during the fire event, Christensen Ambulance was also brought in to be present on scene. Ambulance personnel briefly treated one of the Taylor Honey workers for a minor burn on his arm. There were no other injuries associated with the fire.
Andover is served by Web Water Company and they were called to assist with water usage at the fire. Also power lines began to melt near the blaze from the intense heat and power was lost to some homes in Andover. Northwestern Energy responded and restored power and fixed the damaged lines.
Crews say the building and all of its contents were a total loss.
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