Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Lois E. Johnson
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Fire temporarily shuts down store

 


A bakery worker who came to work early Sunday morning, December 14, found a cooler burning at MarketPlace Foods in Moose Lake and called the fire department.

“The call came in at 3:58 a.m.,” said Fire Chief Jim Michalski. “The firefighters were able to put the fire out with fire extinguishers. No water was used.”

Assistant Fire Chief Steve Trenhaile added the store was filled with smoke when the firefighters arrived. The fire was out by 4:13 a.m. The firefighters ventilated the store for two hours to remove the smoke. The Kettle River and Barnum fire departments were also on scene.

Although the fire was confined to the cooler, soot covered the merchandise in the store.

“The cooler was gutted,” said Store Director Jess Lehnen Monday. “We kept the store closed until 10:30 a.m. to clean tons of product and other equipment in the store. We had to throw out produce that was not packaged.”

The upright cooler was removed from the store.

The doors to the store were left open and fans blew the tainted air from the building all day and into the evening on Sunday. Outside temperatures were mild, in the high 30s and low 40s that day.

Shoppers again found MarketPlace Foods closed on Monday.

Early Tuesday morning, Lehnen said the electrical fire in the eight-foot cooler had caused soot to go throughout the store.

Lehnen added that representatives of the health department and insurance adjusters have come to the store.

“It wasn’t because of the health department that we closed the store,” he said. “It was a conclusion that we came to on our own. We felt that this was the best way to do it.

“We feel that it is better and more healthy to clean and sanitize the whole store. We are having a professional cleaning crew come in and clean the store from top to bottom. We are also having new stock brought in. It will be a brand new store when it is done.”

Lehnen said MarketPlace Foods will open again on Tuesday, December 23.

 

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