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Fire Marshal Anticipates No Issues In Whiteclay Fire

Photo by Connie Louise Smith

A Lakota-owned-grocery store located in Whiteclay, Nebraska was completely destroyed by fire last week. We caught up with the fire marshal investigating the blaze at Arrowhead Foods and have this report.
Mike Turner is based in Scottsbluff but is the fire marshal for the entire Nebraska Panhandle.

“I was probably one of the last people to arrive on the scene,” Turner recalls. “I’m some distance from that location.  When they did call me…and by the time I got up there…the fire had progressed to a point where the building was a total loss.”

Turner notes that the store’s owner was on site at the time the fire started. Although he hasn’t been able to touch base with the owners of Arrowhead Foods yet, Turner says he’s not foreseeing anything suspicious at this point. The Nebraska Fire Marshall believes the blaze was accidental.

“There’s some history as far as the community goes,” explains Turner. “And…you know…these people have been working in the community and…they’ve worked for several people in the area before they purchased this property so…they’ve established themselves.”

The fact that Turner learned the store’s owners recently signed a contract to provide food for the Oglala Lakota Nation Pow Wow also leads him to doubt the fire was anything but accidental in nature.

Investigation into the Arrowhead Foods fire was delayed due to Turner’s being on the road covering the rest of his extensive territory. He expects to have results available sometime this week.

Related stories: 

Arrowhead Foods Catches Fire


Lakota Store Owners Hope To Change Face Of Whiteclay


Whiteclay's Arrowhead Foods Total Loss