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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Explosion destroys N.D. fireworks supply

  • Officials with the Sanborn Fire Department are considering their options after an explosion Thursday destroyed the fireworks that were to be used for this year’s Fourth of July display.
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  • Officials with the Sanborn Fire Department are considering their options after an explosion Thursday destroyed the fireworks that were to be used for this year’s Fourth of July display.
    Mike Griffin, a member of the Sanborn Fire Department, said the fireworks in the storage building were valued at about $3,000. Griffin anticipated the department would meet Friday evening to make a decision on the Fourth of July fireworks display.
    “Maybe we have to make a trip to Minnesota for more stuff,” he said.
    Troy Franklin, member of the Sanborn Fire Department and coordinator of the demolition derby, said other events planned for the Independence Day celebration will continue.
    “We have a lot of other things going on,” he said. “The parade, demolition derby and pickup pull all draw a lot of people.”
    Franklin said this year’s demolition derby will be the 48th annual event.
    “We have a long tradition of celebrating the Fourth of July at Sanborn,” he said. “I don’t know when the fireworks started but it has been going on for years also.”
    Several hundred people travel from other communities to see Sanborn’s July 4 events each year. The town had 192 residents in 2010, according to census data.
    The fireworks magazine used by the Sanborn Fire Department was located at the Jim Greshik farm. The magazine is a specially designed building for the storage of explosives or ammunition.
    Greshik and his family were not at home at the time of the explosion. No one was injured in the incident and property damage was limited to the fireworks storage magazine and its contents.
    “No clue how it happened,” Greshik said. “We had no idea it happened until Friday morning when we saw smoke.”
    Cory Bultema, a pyrotechnician now living in the Minneapolis area, originally helped build the magazine.
    “It was a Type 4 Magazine designed for storing low explosives like black powder and fireworks,” he said. “It did what it was suppose to do.”
    Bultema said the fireworks storage magazine had been built to specifications from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. These include a metal frame covered with a steel exterior siding and lined with wood.
    “The wood interior is important,” Bultema said. “No sparking material, no nail heads or anything like that on the inside.”
    The magazine must also be placed a distance from any occupied structures. In this case, the magazine was about 200 yards from the Greshik home. A steel-sided equipment storage building located about 50 feet from the fireworks magazine did receive some damage to the exterior.
    Page 2 of 2 - “The ATF inspected the magazine a few weeks back and didn’t find any problems,” he said. “I don’t think the problem was with the magazine but I can’t speculate on what did cause the explosion.”
    The Sanborn Fire Department is continuing its investigation, according to Charlene Lyter, speaking on behalf of Tim Lyter, fire chief.
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