Hibbing community shocked after Friday night structure fire

Hibbing community shocked after Friday night structure fire
Published: Nov. 12, 2022 at 4:39 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 12, 2022 at 8:16 PM CST
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HIBBING, MN. -- Several Iron Range fire departments battled a fire overnight that left a family business in ruins.

“A little after 9 p.m., we got a report of a possible structure fire at the Yoder lumber company,” Hibbing fire department’s fire chief, Erik Jankila, said.

Yoder Building Supplies is a contracting business in Hibbing.

The Yoder building housed many combustible items.

Three aerial units, along with evacuation equipment were deployed to fight the fire.

It wasn’t until nine hours later the fire was extinguished, around 6 a.m. Saturday.

“Due to the nature of the fire, and the size of the building, and the involvement already of the heavy fire load, it was determined to be a defensive fire from the get-go,” Jankila said.

Fire department officials estimated around $1.5 million in damages.

“You can see in the background the size of the building is quite immense,” said Jankila. “It didn’t take very long for it to be a fully engulfed building.”

Yoder Building Supplies has been in the Iron Range for the last 25 years.

The loss of this building came as a shock to the community.

“It’s always been a very cool looking building on the corner there, it is so well established,” Megan Hawkinson, who lived in Hibbing for six years, said. “It’s kind of crushing.”

“We were shocked. This community does not deserve this. It’s just shocking,” Mandy Christianson, who lived in Hibbing for the last two years, said.

For Hawkinson, who lives a few blocks away from the fire, she said she knew the fire was large.

The amount of destruction however was not something she expected.

“I just live a few blocks away and I could hear all the sirens going on for hours, so I knew something was going on,” Hawkinson said. “Then this morning, there is no way to not come around the corner and just have your jaw drop.”

The community waits in anticipation to hear from Hibbing and Minnesota fire marshals about what caused the fire.

They hope to see the family business continue in the future.

“I really hope they are able to rebuild,” Hawkinson said. “Hibbing seems like it has been hit by a few fires in the last few years and we so hope that they continue with their business here.”

Fire department officials said there are no reported injuries.

The origin of the fire will not be announced until the investigation ends.

This is a developing story. We will bring you more updates as they come in.