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Damages reach $1.1 million; cause unknown
By Kari Petrie firstname.lastname@example.org
Published: April 08. 2006 1:30AM
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ST. STEPHEN — An early morning fire Friday caused $1.1 million in damage at a woodworking business in Brockway Township.
Firefighters were called to the scene at 2:10 a.m. Friday. The Alpine Custom Woodworking building, 5502 Stearns County Road 5, was fully engulfed when they arrived, Stearns County Sheriff John Sanner said.
St. Stephen Fire Chief Ray Trobec did not return phone calls Friday.
The State Fire Marshal is investigating the blaze because of the large amount of damage. The fire started in the production area of the building, near where the company does its painting and staining, Fire Marshall John Steinbach said.
No one was in the building when the fire started. The cause is unknown at this time.
Steven John Prom, 40, of Cold Spring owns the business. Prom said 30 people work in the building, but no one will lose their jobs.
The business will be able to continue as usual because Prom has several other facilities. He said he did not lose any information that was stored in the building.
"That was the best that could happen in a fire," he said of salvaging customer information.
The building will have to be torn down, but Prom said he will rebuild.
Firefighters from Sartell, Waite Park, St. Cloud, St. Joseph, Rice and Sauk Rapids helped extinguish the fire, Sanner said.
Deputies closed several roads around the fire Friday morning.
Times reporter David Unze contributed to this report.