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Fire destroys Ellsworth City Hall

Lead Summary
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Mavis Fodness

Nine fire departments battled a blaze Tuesday at the Ellsworth City Hall.
Ray Palmer, who handles maintenance for the city, said he received a phone call around 6 a.m. from school bus driver Dan Huisman who said water was streaming out of city hall and down the street.
Palmer said when he arrived he noticed flames inside the two-story brick structure.
“I tried to get some stuff out,” Palmer said.
Ellsworth Fire Department received mutual aid from the two-state area mostly from tanker trucks hauling water to the scene.
Luverne, Magnolia, Adrian, Rushmore and Lismore from Minnesota and Little Rock, Rock Rapids and George, Iowa, brought firefighters and equipment to the fire.
The city hall is located on the east side of Ellsworth’s main thoroughfare, South Broadway Street, and the town’s water tower borders city hall to the north.
No other structures near the city hall were threatened by the blaze that that sent smoke billowing from the building.
Henning Construction, Adrian, was called to the scene with an excavator and began assisting firefighters by knocking holes in the brick structure.
Firefighters were then able to spray directly at the blaze while the excavator began tearing down the structure from the east.
School was canceled before students began arriving at Ellsworth Public School because electricity and water were shut off to various parts of town to fight the blaze.
The cause of the fire is unknown.
The Ellsworth City Council gathered for a 5:30 p.m. meeting Monday in the building the night before the fire was discovered.
The City Hall building was constructed in 1904.
Ellsworth is located one mile north of the Iowa border in Nobles County.