HANKINSON, N.D. - Richland County lost five plow trucks, a sign truck, a semi with a belly dump, three motor graders, a bobcat skid steer, forklift and welding equipment as the result of a fire Monday night, Jan. 18.
The fire started around 8 p.m. at the Richland County Highway Department main shop in Hankinson.
Richland County Emergency Management Director Brett Lambrecht says when firefighters from seven departments arrived, there was heavy smoke coming from the center part of the building.
It took them nearly two hours to put the fire out.
Nobody was in the shop Monday due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
Also lost in the fire, the equipment for the emergency communications tower that sits near the shop.
Lambrecht says that will not paralyze communications for first responders in the region, but will cripple it. There are two others in the county.
The county does have plows and other equipment at two other shops that can be moved around. Lambrecht said, adding that several other counties have offered to lend equipment.
Lambrecht saids the cause of the fire is unknown, but suspects it could be electrical saying it appears the fire started near the electrical panel.
Firefighters will remain on scene overnight to watch for potential flareups.
Fire investigators will return to the scene on Tuesday to determine what happened.