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No injuries in Wednesday afternoon farm fire

There were no injuries to property residents or firefighting personnel resulting from a blaze Wednesday afternoon in rural Worthington.

Worthington Fire Chief Pat Shorter said the call for the fire at the property of Mark and Traci Scheepstra came at about 2:45 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. The fire broke out in what Shorter said was a fully functional finished shop that contained a 1,000-gallon diesel fuel tank, farm chemicals, seed beans, a brand-new sprayer, a tractor, a generator and other typical farm shop equipment.

Firefighters quickly set up drop tanks so water could be sprayed to cool a nearby 1,000-gallon propane tank. Other firefighters fought the flames at the shop building while facing what Shorter said were unusual and strong east winds. As the building was exposed to the east, the fire was able to spread quickly.

Shorter said one of the Scheepstra children discovered the fire and reported it. Shorter added that the fact buildings were spaced far apart on the property was a huge benefit. He added that it was also fortunate that upon calling Paul Kepka to see if Kepka's excavator could be utilized, the excavator happened to just across the section from the Scheepstras' at Kepka's dad's place. The excavator was used to push the walls to the shop in and get things spread out.

Firefighters were on the scene for approximately four hours. While Shorter said he had a inkling as to what started the fire, the state fire marshal was expected to visit the property Thursday or Friday to investigate.

Shorter also credited fellow parishioners of the Scheepstras at the Christian Reformed Church for coming together to get food and drink for the firefighters, adding that Hy-Vee also donated supplied items for sandwiches.

Two dozen members of the Worthington Fire Department were at the scene, as well as a dozen members of the Rushmore Fire Department.

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