QUIMBY - Shortly after 1:30 p.m. on Friday, the Quimby Fire Department responded to a fire at Simonsen Industries.
According to one of the company's owners, Jeff Simonsen, "The fire was in one of our old buildings that we don't use any more. We noticed about 1:30 p.m. that flames were coming out of the roof of that building. We don't know when it started, it could have been smoldering for quite a while."
"We believe that the fire may have been started by sparks from a boiler. We suspect that winds were blowing in just the right direction and carried the sparks onto the roof of that building. The fire looked a lot worse than it was. The fire department left about 5 p.m. and we were up and running by 7 p.m." added Simonsen.
"Last year I wanted to put on a metal roof on that building but everyone I contacted was too busy to come down and take a look at the building. I was going to go ahead with the project again this year but the fire changed that plan," said Simonsen.
Quimby Fire Chief Willie Allbaugh said 10 volunteer firefighters responded to the call and were on the scene about three hours. The Cherokee and Washta departments also responded and hauled water to the scene. They were on site about an hour, according to Allbaugh.
Allbaugh said the fire started when hot embers from a wood-burning stove blew from the smoke stack onto the asphalt/rock roof of an unused portion of the building. Most of the damage was confined to the roof and a sidewall, said the Fire Chief.
Simonsen Industries begain in 1929 in Quimby to service the needs of the local farming community in northwest Iowa. They manufacture and sell products and services to the agricultural community, such as mounted spreaders, tenders, feed bodies and LP gas trucks.