MONTEZUMA — At approximately 2:30 p.m. Friday, fire department crews from Gray County responded to a report of thick smoke coming from the elevators in Montezuma along Highway 56.

Dodge City Fire Department was also dispatched, as fire in or near a grain elevator could become catastrophic.

Bystanders reported they saw smoke billowing from the south side and top of one of the elevators. Co-op employees had been unloading grain earlier from elevators to ship out and fortunately were on hand to report the smoke quickly. Grain dust can easily be combustible, which was the major concern.

John Goossen, head of the Montezuma Fire team on site, stated that bearing or mechanical issues were the cause of the alarm.

There was no fire in the grain tanks themselves, just in the boot and grain leg of the elevator.

The fire crews will hose down the grain and area to err on the side of caution, to make sure no residual heat could cause damage.

Fortunately, the fire crews were quick to be on-site and any catastrophic damage was avoided.