An investigator with the State Fire Marshal’s Office is headed to Mankato today, to determine the cause of an overnight blaze at Dotson Iron Castings.
The fire broke out just after 11:30pm Friday in a production area of the foundry at 200 West Rock Street. Crews from Mankato, North Mankato and South Bend responded, with up to 45 firefighters battling the blaze through the night.
The scene was cleared around 6:00 this morning, although some firefighters were still at the site as of 8:30 working on the final “mop up.”
There were less than 15 workers at Dotson when the fire erupted and all were able to make it out safely.
The fire was contained to the south half of the building and the extent of the damage is still being assessed, but Mankato fire officials say it includes structural damage to the building’s roof. The fire is thought to be accidental. Early indications point to welding or a welding torch as a possible cause.
Dotson Organizational Development Manager Liz Ulman says whether the foundry will be operational come Monday is yet to be determined.
“As a company, we’ve always prided ourselves on our agility and this will put that to the test,” said Ulman.