Weekend fire at Rushford Airport destroys hangar

SUBMITTED PHOTO A re in the early morning hours of Saturday, Oct. 26, destroyed a hangar and its contents at the Rushford Municipal Airport.
Chad Smith

Fire damaged a hangar at the Rushford Airport over the weekend. Early reports indicate that three airplanes, a truck and a tractor were in the hangar at the time of the fire.

Rushford Fire Department Chief Chad Rasmussen said firefighters were called out in the wee hours of Saturday morning, Oct. 26, and arrived to find the hangar in flames. “We were paged out around 2:30 on Saturday morning for a hangar fire at the airport,” Rasmussen said. “They told me it was the old hangar and half of it was completely engulfed when we got there. It’s located right next to the house that pilots stay in when they land there.

Rasmussen said their first concern was a gas line that runs to a nearby building that serves as a pilot’s lounge. “That [gas] line was underground, so we had to wait for the gas company to send someone there,” he recalled. “They had to dig down and were able to shut off the gas.

“We don’t have an available water supply out there, so we have to haul water out to the airport. So, the first thing we did was to protect the house. I called the Lanesboro Fire Department to come out and help us protect the other hangar. The fire just burned itself right to the ground.”

Rasmussen said airplanes in the hangar that caught fire are a total loss. “Everything that was in there is gone,” he added. “I called the State Fire Marshall to come down and take a look at the scene as well.”

The fire department also had to shut down the airport because they wound up fighting the fire from the runway. They eventually left the scene around 10:30 a.m. on Saturday after spending eight hours at the airport.

“We haven’t found out what the cause is just yet,” he added. “The State Fire Marshall will look into it a little bit more and give us his report. He’ll tell us where and how it started. I’m glad someone was staying at the house that night and able to call in the fire. Who knows what would have happened if no one was there to see the fire start?”

Rasmussen said things could have been so much worse out there and is just glad that “everything got taken care of and everyone got home safe.”