Oklahoma Firefighters Extinguish Fire At Grain Elevator

CASHION, Okla. (AP) -- Firefighters worked to remove seed from a smoldering grain elevator Monday, after putting out a fire that had forced 200 people from their homes a day earlier.

Cashion Fire Chief Danny Clark said groups of firefighters used shovels, rakes and their hands to remove grain from the Shawnee Mills grain elevator.

The fire, that started around 7:50 p.m. Sunday, was extinguished Monday afternoon at about 2:50, Clark said.

Firefighters from Cashion and four other communities worked through the night to contain the fire.

``It's been a long night,'' Clark said. ``It's just drunk beyond punch.''

They were back at the elevator at 5:30 a.m. Monday to continue to monitoring the blaze, Clark said.

Emergency officials evacuated residents in a 2-to-4 block radius, fearing the smoldering fire could cause an explosion inside the tight space of the grain elevator, said Michelann Ooten, Oklahoma Emergency Management public information officer.

Residents took shelter in local churches and schools in the community of 430 residents, located about 30 miles northwest of Oklahoma City.

They returned to their homes at 1 a.m. Monday.

``The situation was concerning enough to ask people to leave their homes,'' Ooten said.

The fire was in a room where grain was weighed, Clark said. Tight spaces forced officials to use firefighters of small build to remove the grain and monitor the fire.

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