At 6:15 p.m., the Brainerd Fire Department was called to respond to a fully engulfed structure fire at the store, located at 12472 Evergreen Drive S. Emergency responders from several area agencies were on scene as winds gusting over 30 mph fanned the flames shooting through the roof of the large building that housed the 50-year-old business.
The state fire marshal's office is investigating to determine the cause of the fire, Holmes said. No injuries were reported. The structure was a complete loss.
Holmes said it was unclear what exactly caused the multiple explosions at the scene, but it could have been stored fuel.
Forty-six firefighters from the Brainerd, Nisswa, Crosby and Pillager fire departments responded, as well as Baxter and Brainerd police, North Memorial Ambulance and Baxter Public Works. Firefighters were on-scene 5.5-6 hours, Holmes said.
The weather conditions further complicated response to the enormous blaze. Adverse road conditions made it more difficult for neighboring fire departments to send mutual aid to Baxter.
Plow trucks cleared the road to allow for numerous emergency vehicles and police officers guarded both the northern and southern entrances to Evergreen Drive.
Holmes was grateful for Baxter Public Works' efforts to clear the streets so firefighters could more easily access the scene.
We would like to thank the Brainerd Dispatch for reprint permission.