Latest from the Brainiac Dispatch:
facility burns in Backus
owners are so dedicated to the distinctive compact travel trailers that they've developed Scamp
clubs throughout the country.
On Friday, fire destroyed the family-owned manufacturing facility in Backus that produces the well-loved campers as nine area fire departments battled the blaze for more than seven hours.
Eveland's Inc., which manufactures the Scamp campers, has been owned by several members of the Eveland family in Backus since 1971. The manufacturing plant is a total loss, state fire marshal Mark Germain said as he was on the scene of the fire Saturday. Germain said the cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Backus Fire Chief Karl Flier said the fire broke out just after 6 p.m. Friday at the manufacturing facility on Highway 371 in Backus. An explosion was reported soon after the fire started but no one was injured in the fire. Flier said a secretary was the lone employee working at the plant at that time. He said the company has about 45 employees.
According to the state Department of Employment and Economic Development, Eveland's Inc. is the second largest employer in Backus with slightly fewer employees than employed at Backus Elementary School.
Flier said eight other fire departments were called to the scene to assist the Backus Fire Department, including those from Walker, Hackensack, Pine River, Longville, Crosslake, Nisswa, Pequot Lakes and Ideal Township.
Even several retired Backus firefighters lent their help at battling the blaze, said Flier. The Backus American Legion provided food during the seven-and-a-half hours that firefighters were at the scene, which Flier said was greatly appreciated.
The Eveland family could not be reached for comment Saturday morning.
The Scamp travel trailers are small and lightweight and can be towed behind small cars and trucks, according to the company's Web site, www.scamptrailers.com