Firefighters from Albert Lea, Austin and Glenville battled a large fire Thursday night in a warehouse building in Albert Lea near the West Main Street viaduct.

Albert Lea Public Safety Director J.D. Carlson reported that the fire in a building at 601 W. Main St. was first discovered by an Albert Lea Patrol Officer at approximately 8:11 p.m. Thursday evening, and he added that the building was fully engulfed in flames when fire crews arrived on the scene, leading to heavy smoke throughout the city and the evacuation of 13 nearby homes, including homes on the north and south sides of College Street and on the south side of Main Street.  Carlson stated that 19 people sought shelter at United Methodist Church Thursday evening.  

No injuries were reported.  Carslon stated that an engine company would remain on scene throughout the evening and into Friday morning to extinguish continued hotspots, and the state fire marshal was expected to arrive at the scene this morning.

Besides the fire departments from Albert Lea, Austin and Glenville, the Albert Lea Police Department, the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office and Mayo Ambulance also responded to the scene of the fire.