HAWLEY, Minn. –A massive fire destroyed the grain elevator complex that dominated the skyline of this prairie town of 2,200 people between Detroit Lakes and Fargo. No one was injured. Due to wind, backhoes were used to knock down outbuildings. The fire required so much water – 600 gallons a minute — that the municipal system ran dry. Firefighters had to draw water from the town’s 18-hole local golf course. With no water pressure left in the town system, the 1,100 students in Hawley’s three schools were told to take Monday off. Not until dawn was the fire controlled – after 7-1/2 hours. Seventeen fire departments sent crews to help the volunteer Hawley department.

Inferno in night sky. Cause of grain elevator fire not determined immediately. Image: Melissa Cossette