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Baldwin business destroyed by fire

Officials said a Saturday, Feb. 10, fire at Baldwin Machine & Fab set off multiple explosions inside this building. Submitted photo1 / 2
Firefighters responded Monday, Feb. 12, to this town of Cady property, where an upper portion of a pole shed caught fire. Photo courtesy of Ethan Nigbor2 / 2

St. Croix County firefighters responded to two structure fires between Saturday and Monday, one of which destroyed a Baldwin business.

Gary Newton, Baldwin chief for United Fire Department, said a Saturday night fire at Baldwin Machine & Fab resulted in a total loss. Firefighters were called to the 1080 Sixth Ave. business at 10:06 p.m. Feb. 10.

Newton said that while the fire caught neighbors' attention in more ways than one, crews prevented it from spreading to nearby structures. The fire set off multiple explosions from propane tanks inside, along with welding equipment, Newton explained.

"It woke a lot of people up," he said. "We're very, very lucky that no one got hurt."

Crews from Hudson, River Falls, Roberts and Spring Valley assisted United Fire at the fire, which kept firefighters on the scene for about six hours.

No one was in the building at the time of the fire, Newton said, adding that no firefighters were injured while battling the blaze.

St. Croix County land records show the property, owned by Englebretson Holdings LLC, was valued at about $120,000 in 2017.

He said the fire's cause was under investigation by insurance officials. The fire appeared to have started near a workbench, Newton said.

United crews also assisted Spring Valley firefighters during a Monday, Feb. 12, pole shed fire reported at 2:44 p.m. at 3219 County Road N in the town of Cady.

Newton said that fire was contained to an upper storage area in the structure. Multiple snowmobiles, other vehicles and tools were removed and spared from damage, he said.

County land records show the property is owned by Kelly A. and Rebecca A. Kerr.

The Cady fire, under investigation by Spring Valley fire, likely started somewhere in the roof area, Newton said.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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