Fire Destroys Co-op Building in St. Mary’s

A fire has completely destroyed the co-op in St. Mary’s. That’s according to Pottawatomie County Fire Supervisor Bruce Brazzle, who says a number of fire departments were called in to assist in fighting the blaze early Friday morning. In addition, buildings all up and down Main Street were impacted by the blaze, with some windows melting down in businesses across the street. Brazzle indicates roof damage to a number of structures, with a possible damage amount of a couple million dollars.

An exact dollar estimate and cause have not yet been established, although Brazzle indicates it appears to be suspicious in origin. Brazzle adds that’s because the structure was in the process of being demolished and power had been cut off to the building. 

Jay Ronnebaun, south region manager for the Nemaha County Co-op, said that “the elevator was being demolished anyway [despite the fire].  It was in the middle of demolision and had been out of use for about three to four years.”

Union Pacific also had to be called in as tracks became warped nearby, affecting rail traffic.