Neighbors Near Warren Fiberglass Plant Describe Home Evacuation

Neighbors near the Nordic Fiberglass Plant had to leave their homes Wednesday night after it caught fire, spreading smoke through the neighborhood

Some of those who were evacuated from their homes say the fire came as a surprise to the quiet town.

People say they didn’t know what they might find when they were allowed to return to their homes.

The streets surrounding the Nordic Fiberglass Plant in Warren have returned to their usual quiet hum.

“The only other thing that happened was when the electrical thing on the corner blew up. A squirrel got in there and set off a fire over there. That was a couple of years ago. Other than that, you know this is a pretty quiet town,” said nearby homeowner, Mark Rittmann.

Rittmann said the plant fire is the biggest fire he’s seen in town that he can remember.

As the night wore on, the wind picked up and the flames spread.

Officials said they had to protect the people in the neighboring houses as they watched the wind blow dangerous smoke towards homes across the street.

As a safety precaution, neighbors from more than a block away were evacuated for the night to limit their exposure to the potentially toxic fumes.

“I didn’t smell anything, but my son called me and said they’re evacuating,” said Rittmann.

One homeowner said he wasn’t going to take any chances.

When told to leave, he didn’t hesitate to make sure his dog was out of harm’s way with him.

“Didn’t want her in the fumes. That way, if they were dangerous or whatever, I didn’t want her dying because she’s like, my kid,” said neighbor Stan Haugtvevt.

Authorities with the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office said no homes were damaged and none of the neighbors were hurt.

But the plant didn’t fare as well.

“I mean, it’s a loss because we had people that come up from Crookston and even Grand Forks that would work at the plant,” said Rittmann.

And for a small town like this, the loss could come as a big hardship.

“It would be a blow to the economy if they can’t get it up and running so praying for the best for that,” said Rittmann.

For now, people say they’re just happy to be home safe and grateful their homes are intact.

It’s unknown what the future holds for the Nordic Fiberglass Plant in Warren.

KVRR reached out to the company, but they declined to comment.

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