SARTELL, Minn. (WCCO) — Crews continue working to fully extinguish the Verso Paper Mill fire in Sartell but say at this point, the fire is 98-99 percent contained.

One person died in the paper mill explosion and fire last Monday. Fifty-year-old Jon Maus of Albany, Minn. was identified as the victim.

Fire Chief Patti Gartland said they are currently working on extinguishing the smoldering and charred paper bails that were trapped under collapsed portions of the roof system.

Each bail is between one and four tons each and Gartland said some occasionally send up 2- to 3-foot flares. Gartland said they hoped to be done Thursday but it will likely last until Friday.

She said 39 fire agencies and seven law enforcement agencies have assisted since the incident.

A press conference has been scheduled for Friday that will address the fire response and give a plant update. Details of the press conference have not been released.


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