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Fire causes $1.75 million in damage at northern Minnesota manufacturing plant

Firefighters from six area departments battle a fire late Thursday, March 6, 2014, at Cross-Tech Manufacturing in Crosslake, Minn. (Kelly Humphrey/Brainerd Dispatch)1 / 2
A firefighter directs a steady stream on the fire at the Cross-Tech Manufacturing building from Ideal Fire and Rescue’s aerial ladder late Thursday, March 6, 2014, in Crosslake, Minn. (Kelly Humphrey/Brainerd Dispatch)2 / 2

CROSSLAKE, Minn. -- A fire late Thursday caused an estimated $1.75 million in damage at a northern Minnesota manufacturing business.

Firefighters were able to shut a fire door separating the original Cross-Tech Manufacturing plant from a 15,000-square-foot expansion.

Cross-Tech makes the Brush Wolf line of hydraulic rotary brush cutters, which are used to clear brush and small- to medium-sized trees. It is based in Crosslake, north of Brainerd in Crow Wing County, and employs about 27 people and was looking to hire more this summer.

Scott Freiberg, who owns the business along with Roger Roy, said it appears the fire started in the attic wiring. Roy said there was about $1.75 million in building and equipment damage.

“We are already starting to make plans to build again,” Freiberg said.

With a heavy load of customer orders and new work from Caterpillar, Freiberg said the fire’s timing couldn’t be worse. If firefighters had not been able to close the fire door and save the newest portion of the building, built in 2012, Freiberg said the future could have been very different.

One firefighter was reported injured from a sheet metal cut that required a few stitches. No other injuries were reported.

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