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DILLSBORO, Ind. — A massive fire destroyed a Co-Op Feed Dealer in Dearborn County that many farmers in the area rely on.

The fire started around 4:30 pm at the Co-Op along U.S. 50 near Dillsboro. When firefighters from several townships showed up the building was fully engulfed sending thick, black smoke into the air that could be seen for miles.

“When I arrived there was smoke coming out of the center of the building,” said Dillsboro Asst. Fire Chief Jason Sullivan. “Luckily the employees that were in the building made it out. All the firefighters have been safe.”

While they were fighting the fire, a primary concern was a detached propane tank located immediately behind the building.

“The propane, there’s a big tank in the back of the building. It was not attached,” Sulivan said. “One of our major concerns was to keep that cool.”

The smoke billowing into the sky caught the attention of people nearby, many of whom are farmers.

“You could see the flame shooting up through the trees from about two miles away,” said Clay Cutter, a local cattle farmer. “It almost makes me want to cry. I’d just got done feeding and seen the smoke and seen fire truck go by. Didn’t really know what it was.”

Cutter is one of many farmers who use the Co-Op to buy feed for his livestock.

Firefighters are just beginning to try and figure out how the fire started.