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Deliberately set fires,
vandalism strike Edgerton

by Kim Fickett
Landmark reporter

A series of fires and vandalism struck Edgerton Saturday morning, according to Sharon Crowder, Edgerton-Trimble Fire Protection District information officer.

"Whoever did this was making a clear path from Nash Gas to the police station," said Crowder.

The first fire started in a dumpster at Nash Gas, the second at a three-story grain elevator. The state fire marshal has determined both fires to be arson.

Crowder stated that the Edgerton Fire Department was paged at 3:38 a.m. that the grain elevator was afire.

"The elevator was leaning northward towards the Masonic Lodge and we thought the lodge was gone," said Crowder. "It's like my husband stated, it was like a hand of God straightening the elevator back up and then it collapsed straight down."

The Masonic Lodge received wall and carpet damage. A 500-gallon propane tank between the elevator and lodge sustained extensive heat damage.

"We're very lucky that didn't explode," explained Crowder.

The rubble from the grain elevator is still smoldering and is expected to continue for at least a few days. The Edgerton-Trimble Fire Department was assisted by Dearborn, Camden Point, Smithville and Gower Fire Departments.

Crowder also reported, several windows broken out at the city maintenance and police department garage, as well as the fire station. An out-of-service pumper also received heavy vandalism.

The latest fires are part of an apparently unconnected streak of three that have hit Edgerton in the past month. On Nov. 3, the home of Junior and Sandi Lehman caught fire due to faulty wiring, and an electrical fire on Thanksgiving Day destroyed the home of Richie and Angela Fennell.

Anyone with any information regarding the weekend fires and vandalism should contact the TIPS hotline at (816) 474-TIPS.