T&R Electric buildings destroyed by fires

IN THIS PHOTO taken from Madison Fire Department video, firefighters battling fires that broke out at the T&R Electric Supply Co. in Colman spray water onto the roof on one of the buildings on Wednesday morning. Company officials reported several buildings damaged by fire, including two buildings used for storage. T&R Electric's manufacturing facilities were reported undamaged.

About 10 fire departments in the region were called to Colman early Wednesday morning to extinguish fires in buildings used by T&R Electric Supply Co., a manufacturer of electrical equipment.

Early reports from the scene had the fire breaking out at about 4 a.m. and damaging three buildings, with two buildings destroyed. At midmorning on Wednesday, Madison Fire Chief Randy Minnaert reported that a fourth building was damaged by fire. Minnaert said the fire damaged buildings located away from SD-34.

Minnaert said that at 5:30 a.m., the Madison Fire Department had sent four fire trucks to the scene in Colman. He had reports that firefighters from Chester, Nunda and Wentworth were also working in Colman to extinguish the fires.

Reports indicate that the Flandreau and Dell Rapids fire departments were also among the agencies that responded to the emergency call.

On Wednesday morning, KSFY News reported that Kirsten Taggart, a T&R vice president, announced three buildings were seriously damaged by the fires, including two storage buildings. The company stored dry-type electrical transformers in one of the buildings and equipment such as forklifts in another damaged building. Taggart said the company's production facilities were not affected by the fire.

At midmorning, Minnaert believed the firefighters were putting out hot spots and performing mopping-up tasks. At that time, no injuries were reported from the scene in Colman.

Colman officials asked residents on the city's Facebook page to conserve water to assist firefighters.

T&R Electric manufactures electrical equipment at its Colman plant with some of the buildings located along the north side of SD-34. The company's products include pole-mount and padmount transformers, substation transformers, switchgear and regulators.

Personnel with the Madison Fire Department provided livestream video of emergency crews battling the fire.

Minnaert said authorities had not yet determined the cause of the fire.