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Crawford County, Kansas
At approximately 8:45 p.m. on Sunday, firefighters from at least six different area fire departments were asked to respond to Circle E Feed at 309 E. St. John in Girard. At 11:30 p.m., firefighters were still desperately fighting to save the animal feed manufacturing plant and keep the flames from spreading to nearby businesses. The Kansas State Fire Marshal has been called in to investigate the blaze.
The first structure on the site was built in 1869 and a brick edition was added in 1923. Both structures were completely destroyed in the blaze. Through the years the business passed through several incarnations, from an American Royal Feeds owned locally to Super Sweet feeds and later purchased by a company that would eventually become ADM.
The building became somewhat of a local landmark being one of the first sights of the city as people traveled West toward the town via US Highway 57. Circle E feed employed local residents and purchased some of the materials needed for producing its livestock feeds from local farmers. According to Antony Kavcich, who retired from the plant, he was employed on the graveyard shift for Super Sweet. When I started working there we had three shifts going all the time. Mr. Kavcich also said Some of the materials we used to make our feeds were hauled in like, corn from Iowa, and rice products from Missouri and Arkansas, but some of it was also purchased locally. Corn and Milo were bought from local farmers.
During the twenty years of his employment Mr. Kavcich stated they would produce about 3,000 tons of feed a month, some of hauled by Super Sweet trucks as far as the Flint Hills