Flames engulfed a pole barn in Albert Lea Monday morning. Firefighters prevented the blaze from reaching a nearby propane tank. Tim Engstrom/newsroom@austindailyherald.com
Flames engulfed a pole barn in Albert Lea Monday morning. Firefighters prevented the blaze from reaching a nearby propane tank. Tim Engstrom/newsroom@austindailyherald.com

Flames engulf Albert Lea Main Street structure

Published 10:39am Monday, November 25, 2013

Blaze takes shed with cars inside

ALBERT LEA — A fire completely engulfed a structure on Main Street in Albert Lea early Monday morning.

No one was hurt, although three classic automobiles were damaged, said Jeff Quam of Albert Lea. He and his son, Wade, own the shed. It remains unknown what started the blaze.

A propane tank near the burned shed did not explode this morning as a massive fire burned a few feet away. A Chevy logo can be discerned on the exterior.
A propane tank near the burned shed did not explode this morning as a massive fire burned a few feet away. A Chevy logo can be discerned on the exterior.

Jeff said the cars lost to fire were a 1955 Chevy, a 1950 Studebaker and a 1968 Ford Mustang. He said a cat was lost in the fire, too.

He said he had owned the Chevy for 21 years. The other two cars belonged to other people and were being stored for the winter. He said the gasoline and oil in the cars gave fuel to the fire. He said he had no idea what started the fire.

Albert Lea Director of Public Safety Dwaine Winkels said the state fire marshal is investigating the fire.

The fire, on East Main Street behind Subway, was called in by a passer-by at 6:20 a.m., Winkels said. The building was a pole barn, which has wooden frames and a sheet metal exterior. It lasted to nearly 8 a.m., when firefighters began using a skidloader with a front excavator to knock down walls and seek out hotspots. Police blocked off East Main Street from Garfield Avenue to Newton Avenue. Many morning commuters could spot the blaze from Bridge Avenue.

Firefighters begin dousing the flames with a hose Monday morning. The nearest hydrants were by Walgreens across the street. -- Tim Engstrom/Albert Lea Tribune
Firefighters begin dousing the flames with a hose Monday morning. The nearest hydrants were by Walgreens across the street. — Tim Engstrom/Albert Lea Tribune

The Quams own about an acre at that location, with other buildings undamaged.

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