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Sunday fire destroys Myton landmark

Published: Sunday, July 20 2014 9:52 p.m. MDT

Updated: Sunday, July 20 2014 9:52 p.m. MDT

A fast-moving fire destroyed Ross Brothers Seed & Feed in Myton on Sunday, July 20, 2014. The building has been a landmark in Myton for at least 70 years, according to residents.

Mark Ponton

MYTON, Duchesne County — A fast-moving fire destroyed a family-owned business Sunday whose iconic buildings have been a landmark in Myton for at least 70 years.

The first reports of smoke coming from Ross Brothers Seed & Feed, 35 N. Center, came in about 4:15 p.m., according to witnesses.

The Myton Fire Department sits on the lot directly west of the feed store. When the department's volunteer firefighters reached the station, small flames were visible, Myton Fire Chief Aaron Davis said. In the few minutes it took them to suit up and roll their trucks out, the fire had exploded, the chief said.

"It just spread instantly with all the corn dust in the silos and in the buildings here," Davis said. "Once it took off, it just kind of fully engulfed.

"We've all dreaded this day," the chief added.

All homes within a block of the burning buildings were evacuated as firefighters from Roosevelt and Myton worked to prevent its spread. The store and silos were destroyed, but firefighters were able to save a warehouse where Troy Ross stored some of his merchandise.

Ross' father and uncles bought the feed store from the original owners in 1971. Ross later bought the store from his father. It wasn't just a business, he said. It was a gathering place where the community's farmers and ranchers stopped in to swap stories and offer advice.

"It will sure be different not to see this building here," Ross said, standing beside his son as firefighters continued to put out hot spots. "There's a lot of memories that just got burned up, so it hurts."

A Myton firefighter collapsed and was unresponsive at the scene. He was taken by ambulance to Uintah Basin Medical Center in Roosevelt. The man was treated for dehydration and his condition had improved by 6:30 p.m. Sunday, according to Davis.

The State Fire Marshal's Office has been called in to investigate the cause of the fire.

Email: gliesik@deseretnews.com, Twitter: GeoffLiesik

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