Firefighters Contain Large Blaze in Downtown Jamestown


A large blaze consumed a building owned by Vining Oil and Gas on Friday in downtown Jamestown. All photos by Mark Potts

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( – A fire that started just before 10 a.m. in downtown Jamestown has been contained according to Fire Chief Jim Reuther.

Reuther said in a 2:30 p.m. press conference that the fire is under control, although there are several hot spots they are worried about. The fire department will be on fire watch 24 hours a day though the weekend and 1st Ave North will be closed from 2nd Street to 4th Street until at least Monday.

Reuther said they don’t yet know the cause of the blaze, but there were no reported injuries. The fire started in and destroyed a building owned by Vining Oil at 305 1st Ave. North, which was used for storage and held 55 gallon barrels of oil, tires and some vehicles. The fire did spread south to the old Elks Building but Reuther says they have that fire knocked down. The old Elks Building is vacant.

Areas around the buildings were evacuated because of explosions, heavy smoke and the worry of a possible collapse of the Elks Building if it caught fire. At one point this morning, Reuther said the fire department was using 3,500 gallons of water per minute to fight the large blaze as flames went 40 to 50 feet in the air and black smoke billowed into the sky.

The full force of 35 firefighters responded to the blaze. Also responding were the Jamestown Police Department, the Stutsman County Sheriff’s Office, the Salvation Army and the American Red Cross.

An inspector is expected to arrive this weekend, but Reuther says with all the hot spots it will likely be Monday before anyone can do an inspection of the buildings.





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