Swany Fire Cause 01 Feb 12

Investigators were not able to determine what caused the fire last month that destroyed the Swany White Flour Mill, a Central Minnesota landmark.

The Dec. 27 fire caused $850,000 in damage, according to the State Fire Marshal’s report released yesterday (Tues).

The mill eventually collapsed because of the fire and excavation equipment was used to demolish the remaining structure so crews could make sure the fire was out. Deputy State Fire Marshal John Steinbach said in his report that he was unable to perform a thorough investigation of what caused the fire because of that demolition. He was unable to determine where the fire started and what caused it.

Gary Thelen owned the mill that had been in his family since 1903. It produced 750,000 pounds of flour a year.