SUPERIOR, WISCONSIN, U.S. — A fire that broke out on Dec. 17 at the former Globe Elevators in Superior is expected to smolder for days. The 150-foot-tall grain elevator was in the process of being dismantled when a spark set the structure on fire, according to the Duluth News Tribune.
Superior Battalion Chief Howard Huber estimated damages at $2.5 million.
“This is a large wooden structure so it’s going to burn for a while,” Superior Mayor Jim Paine said in a Dec. 17 posting on Facebook. “The wood is untreated, old growth timber, not much different than what you would throw in a fireplace. Superior Fire is on the scene, there are no injuries, and we don’t expect much damage beyond the structure itself and some surrounding equipment. I don’t foresee much more news until we put it out, which is going to take a few days. Battalion Chief Scott Gordon tells me that this is the best-case scenario, a very hot fire burns out quickly. The only loss is equipment and an abandoned, unusable structure.”
The Duluth News Tribune article noted that the Globe Elevators were built in 1887 and at one time were the largest elevators in the world, according to an online historical record kept by the Old Globe Wood Co. and confirmed by the Duluth port authority. The Globe Elevators featured the first integrated elevator system, enabling them to convey grain between structures, the article noted.