A Trident Seafoods warehouse in St. Paul burned late last week. Stephanie Mandregan photo
Firefighters in St. Paul spent over 13 hours trying to put out a large blaze in the center of town.
A warehouse owned by Trident Seafoods erupted in flames at about 10:30 Thursday night. A group of 25 responders, including Coast Guard personnel, managed to keep the fire from spreading to other buildings in town. Fire Chief KC Alberg says that they’ve received no reports of injuries or missing persons, but that the building is expected to be a total loss. He adds that materials clean-up could be tricky, though, given the contents inside.
"There was a large volume of chemicals stored there," he said. "We have been told that there were oils and possibly some fuel and some other hazardous materials."
The warehouse was built during the 1940s, and lies in the middle of 400-person St. Paul. According to Trident President Paul Padgett, the company stopped using it as a plant about 15 years ago and has long since removed any valuable equipment. Now, Trident mostly uses it to store salt and fiber, and they lease some of the space to the local Native Corporation, TDX.
Padgett adds that the loss of the building shouldn’t have an effect on their operations, since they had other processing materials stored in their main plant. Plus, it’s not nearly as disruptive as the sea ice that’s come down to St. Paul and prevent fishing vessels from coming into the harbor.
"It’s not going to cause any problem whatsoever," Padgett said. "I think the only problem we’ve got right now is still a little bit of ice out front."
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.