Two business fires in Howard in last five months - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Two business fires in Howard in last five months

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Miner County fire crews have had a busy 24 hours. An overnight fire destroyed part of the grain elevator in Howard.

It started in an older, wooden building on the property.

The grain elevator fire on Thursday night makes it the second business fire in Howard in the last five months. The meat locker went up in flames in November.

Although devastated, neighbors say they are keeping their heads held high.

"It's pretty scary when you see businesses go down," said Jan Torkelson, Howard.

Neighbors say it's small businesses in Howard that keep the town afloat.

The fire back in November destroyed the meat locker in Howard. This latest fire has damaged a grain elevator.

"It's frustrating because for the locker, lots of people use it everyday for beef but they've been very good about getting opened up right away. And for the elevator for feed for people -- that's what we need now from there is feed or whatever the cattle need and that's what went down last night," said Torkelson.

Dozens of firefighters were on scene -- in addition to Howard -- from neighboring communities like Fedora and Canova.
"It's lucky it didn't spread. A lot of people had a lot of money there but it's a good thing we have a good fired department and they got that contained," said Donovan Kullnat, Howard.

In this small town where everyone knows everyone, community togetherness has been key in getting through these two fires that are only months apart.

"It's sad to see it happen but we're going to overcome it fast.  We can hopefully not have another upset like this here anytime soon," said Torkelson.

"We're very thankful. If we don't have the businesses on the street, we don't have a school, we don't have a lot of our community so we're very thankful to them for starting over," said Torkelson.

Neighbors feel thankful that the grain elevator wasn't a total loss.

"A lot of it could have gone and that would have meant a huge disaster for a lot of farmers," said Torkelson.
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