Early morning fire destroys commercial shed in Coates

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An early morning fire that broke out in a large commercial shed in Coates on Wednesday, Dec. 14, caused no injuries but was a total loss for Rosemount trucking company Olson Carriers, Inc.

The fire broke out in a 40 x 80 foot commercial shed at the 15000 block of Clayton Avenue. A company employee reported the fire at 1:48 a.m.

Crews from Farmington, Hastings, Eagan, Inver Grove Heights, and Randolph-Hampton were called in to assist the Rosemount Fire Department. The Apple Valley Fire Department was on standby for Rosemount while its crews were on the scene.

Rosemount fire chief Richard Schroeder said the building was a total loss and several semi tractors, a skid loader, and some miscellaneous trucking equipment that was housed inside the building was destroyed as well.

Nobody was in the building at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported.

"It was just very cold and very icy," Schroeder said.

Schroeder said it took crews three and a half to four hours to contain the fire and put it out due to the size of the fire and the additional challenges the cold weather brought on.

"Weather was a big part of it, obviously, because of the wind and the cold. You don't last very long out in the elements," he said, adding that firefighters struggled to avoid frostbite and stay warm.

The fire is currently under investigation by the Rosemount Fire Marshal and the Minnesota State Fire Marshal. Schroeder said the cause is unknown.

Olson Carriers Inc. is a family-owned, for-hire carrier specializing in the transportation of dry bulk materials. Jim and Liz Olson of Rosemount formed the trucking company in 1982. In 1997, they sold it to their son Tom Olson, who currently serves as president and CEO.