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Fire at Cooperage results in brief evacuation

Firefighters douse a fire at Black Swan Cooperage Monday afternoon. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)

     Emergency personnel evacuated a two block area around Park Rapids’ Industrial Park Monday afternoon when fire threatened two 100-gallon propane tanks nearby.

     The threat was lifted less than a half hour later when the tanks were safety removed from Black Swan Cooperage.

     It is believed the fire broke out in a kiln area about 1:45 p.m. at the business on Commerce Avenue.

     Firefighters believed they had contained the to the area in the back of one building until they learned of the tanks nearby.

     The evacuation order was lifted at 2:35 p.m.

     “Two hundred gallons of propane’ll pretty much level a two block area,” said Park Rapids Police Chief Terry Eilers.

     About a dozen employees had been immediately evacuated after the initial call came in. Once the threat of the propane arose, employees quickly removed their vehicles from the parking lot and all emergency personnel pullled back. Team Industries across the road was notified, as were MNDOT employees, whose shop is in the same area.

     Hubbard County, Park Rapids police and Hubbard First Responders all converged on the business to assist the four fire trucks on the scene.

The business makes barrelsto hold whiskey and other spirits. The barrels are toasted to enhance the flavor of the liquid contents.

     It is unclear how much damage was done to the structure.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

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