An electrical problem is likely to blame for sparking Monday’s deadly grain elevator explosion in Union Mills, according to fire investigators. Two motors apparently overheated and caused the silo to blow up, killing 67-year-old James Swank, who was at the top of the structure when it blew Monday afternoon and fell to his death. The fire was contained to the silo, and no other injuries were reported. The fire rekindled Tuesday night, and some grain was still smoldering Wednesday. Officials with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and State Fire Marshal’s Office were called in to investigate.
Written by Mary Perren
WKVI News Director Mary Perren is glad to be back home in northern Indiana and on the radio. She’s a North Judson native with more than 20 years of news experience. She’s worked in print and radio news in Indianapolis, Hopkinsville, Ky., Nashville, Tenn. and most recently in Winamac before taking over as news director for Kankakee Valley Broadcasting in February of 2013. Her work has been honored by the Associated Press, StateNets News Association, Curb Foundation, Hoosier State Press Association and IBA. When she’s not sitting in the anchor chair or chasing down news, Mary enjoys shopping for antiques, attending concerts and taking long walks and rides in her vintage Saab convertible, weather permitting. She’s also a hopelessly devoted Chicago Cubs fanatic who still cringes at the mention of Steve Garvey and Josh Beckett and maintains it wasn’t Steve Bartman’s fault.