Freeport mill fire cause unknown, fire marshal saysby Conrad Wilson, Minnesota Public Radio
Collegeville, Minn. — State fire officials say they can't determine the cause of a fire that destroyed a historic mill in central Minnesota late last year.
Firefighters destroyed too much evidence last December at the Swany White Flour Mill in Freeport to allow investigators to determine the cause, a new report says.
State Fire Marshal Jerry Rosendahl says given the circumstances, he's not surprised the investigation didn't come up with more.
"We'd love them to save every possible piece of evidence and whatever and we know that's not possible always," Rosendahl said. "We just say: Put out the fire, make sure all the firefighters are safe, and then we'll do the investigation to the level that we can with what's left."
Rosendahl said in addition to looking for physical evidence, investigators interview people who saw the fire and examine photos as part of their final report.
The family-run mill was more than 100 years old and considered a town icon. The owner has said he doesn't expect to rebuild.