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Early morning fire destroys shed at Tree Top Service

March 10, 2008

By Ryan Gueningsman
Managing Editor

Fire consumed a shed and destroyed its contents the morning of March 2 at Tree Top Service, located northwest of Delano on 65th Street SW.

A call was received by Wright County Communications shortly after 6 a.m. of a shed on fire.

“The homeowner heard an explosion, which got him up, and he called it in,” said Delano Fire Chief Bob Van Lith.

“When I looked out the window, everything was already full of flames,” said owner Paul Mielke. He ran outside to move a truck that was close to the shed, saving it from damage from the fire.

“By the time I got done moving the truck, the police were already there,” Mielke said. “In that time of running to the squad, you could already hear sirens coming out of Delano – the fire department had a fantastic response time, and did a great job keeping the fire away from the house and other equipment.”

The shed destroyed by fire was 30-foot by 42-foot, with a 16- by 42-foot knockout on it, said Lt. Mike Evan of the Wright County Sheriff’s Department. Located in the shed was equipment including a Kenworth tractor, snowmobile, and a hydrostumper.

Mielke runs a tree service, doing residential tree trimming and removal, as well as a land clearing company, clearing land for new roadways.

Mielke said the shop that was destroyed was the company’s main shop, and was used for repair work on equipment used for the business, as well as storage of the equipment. He said he does plan on rebuilding the shed, and said it’s most likely the fire started with one of the pieces of equipment in the shed.

“We’re going to suffer a loss from the equipment, but at least it’s just equipment,” Mielke said, adding if it had been a weekday morning, there could have been employees in the shed when the fire broke out. “It could be a lot worse.”

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