West-central MN meat processing business damaged in fire

The aftermath of the fire at the Starbuck Meat Locker. (Bennett Smith / Twitter)

A fire ripped through a western-central Minnesota meat processing business on Saturday, leaving much of the building destroyed.

Fire crews from the Starbuck and Glenwood fire departments responded around 12:45 p.m. for the report of a fire at the Starbuck Meat Locker building on East 5th Street in Starbuck, Minn. When firefighters rolled up, they said heavy smoke and flames were shooting from the roof of the building.

Due to the size of the fire, additional support was called in from the neighboring Lowry, Villard, Cyrus, and Hancock fire departments. The Pope County Sheriff’s Office, Glenwood Police Department, and Glacial Ridge Ambulance were also on the scene.

The butcher shop was closed at the time of the fire, so no one was injured during the fire. Photos posted to Twitter on Sunday showed the ruin left behind by the massive blaze, with at least one-half of the building completely destroyed.

The meat locker was closed at the time of the fire and no injuries have been reported. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation by the Minnesota State Fire Marshal’s Office.

The fire response was still underway as Starbuck held its Heritage Days Parade, forcing officials to re-route the parade, which was set to pass by the Starbuck community center, just steps from the meat locker.

The locally-owned meat processing plant has been a Starbuck mainstay for more than two decades. The former owners, Keith and Sandy Knutson, retired in 2020, selling the business to a new owner that year.