On Wednesday night, shortly before 8 p.m., a dramatic fireball destroyed M & E Seed and Grain Company, and a father of three was seriously burned.

The administrator for the City of Prosser, Tom Glover, saw the entire building engulfed in flames by the time he arrived just 15 minutes later.

The M & E Seed and Grain mill was a tall structure that has stood for decades at the intersection of Stacey and 7th. Witnesses heard a loud explosion at the mill and then saw flames engulf the facility.

Abel Ruvalcaba, a Millman, was working at the grain elevator when the fire started shortly before 8 p.m. He made the original 911 call, reporting an explosion. He was then taken to the hospital.

The fire burned through the night, destroying the mostly wooden 100-year-old building and an attached antique store.

Watch it here: DAHBOO77/Youtube

“We’re getting many calls of the grain elevator just exploded …” emergency dispatchers told police initially.

More details of this incident from Yakima Herald-Republic:

The fireball lit up the area and sent a huge plume of smoke into the sky over the Lower Yakima Valley. About 22 fire units from various fire agencies through the valley were called out to the old feed store and grain elevator where flames could be seen shooting into the air. Firefighters closed 7th Street and Stacey Avenue while they battled the flames from the ground and from aerial ladder trucks.

Prosser resident Ben Berg told the Herald he was sitting in his house when he turned and saw the blaze.

“I ran out to go look at it,” he said. Just then he heard the sirens arriving. City Administrator Thomas Glover told the Tri-City Herald on Thursday that he could feel the heat from the flames a block away. The building came crashing to the ground about two hours after the fire started. Firefighters were still putting water on the fire until the early morning hours.

The largely wooden elevator and storefront date back to the 1920s, according to the Benton County Assessor’s Office.

Several people remembered visiting the feed store attached to the elevator. “I grew up getting feed there for years — my mom loved that place. Terrible and sad,” one commenter said on Facebook. The feed store had been converted into The Rumor Mill Antiques, Glover told the Herald. According to the store’s Facebook page, it was one of their employees who was hurt.

It’s unclear if the elevator in central Prosser is currently in use. According to the Benton County Assessor’s Office, M & E Seed & Grain Company still owns the property, which was valued at $122,000. The business is also still registered with the Washington Secretary of State’s Office. A cause of the fire remains unknown. Prosser is the Benton County seat about 30 miles west of the Tri-Cities along Interstate 82. M & E Seed and Grain Co. in Prosser is part of the Farm Product Raw Material Merchant Wholesalers Industry, according to a Dun & Bradstreet website.

WLT commented further:

This isn’t the first major fire at a Prosser food processing facility.

In May 2021, a Prosser butcher shop was destroyed, damaging the city hall and police station. They’re calling it “the perfect storm” for food banks and food pantries.

Inflation is up, donations are down, and more people need food. With schools letting out for summer, many American kids face going hungry, without school breakfast or lunch.

And food prices keep rising. Food banks serving the poor are seeing empty shelves, just as more people need their services.

Watch a video report from San Antonio below:

Watch it here: KSAT12/Youtube

You may continue reading here: WLT

Sources: WLT, Yakima Herald-Republic

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.