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Fire Destroys Howard Meat Locker

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A business in Howard is no longer standing.


No one was hurt when Howard Cold Storage and Lockers caught on fire around 4 a.m. And just before deer hunting season, 8 workers have no place to work.


The owner of Howard Cold Storage and Lockers knew something was wrong when he walked into his business early Thursday morning.


“We got here 3 to 4 minutes later. In the building there was visible flames and heavy black smoke on the inside. You couldn’t make an entrance into the building, the smoke was so heavy and thick,” said Howard Fire Chief John Mengenhausen.


Firefighters from Howard, Canova, and Fedora could only fight the smoke and flames from the outside. As they watched the Howard meat locker burn to the ground. 


“Loss of a good business on Main Street in Howard,” said Chief Mengenhausen.


“Very popular, people come from all over to get their meat processed there,” added Jill Wunder.


“It's their busy time of the year. This is when the deer season starts and they do a lot of processing for the deer,” added Chief Mengenhausen.


Hours after the fire began, flames were still seen from the building and that's because of the material the materials on the roof.


“They just put a new rubber roof with five inches of foam over their old roof. So, now you have two layers of roof and that's what caused us to really struggle for us to get to it,” said Chief Mengenhausen.


“It just keeps the flames burning hot and it just keeps it for an active fire scene for a long time,” added Chief Mengenhausen.


Crews knocked brick and steel walls over trying to extinguish the fire and to keep it from spreading to neighboring buildings.


“So, we really hope he can make a comeback after this,” said Chief Mengenhausen.


The Howard community hopes a staple of Main Street will open for business again. 


With temperatures in the teens Thursday morning volunteers provided hot chocolate and sandwiches for the firefighters battling the flames.
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