Olson Carriers overwhelmed with support following fire

Business loses four trucks, several pieces of equipment

A fire destroyed a storage building along with four trucks and other equipment last week at Olson Carriers Inc., a business located along Highway 52 in Coates. Area firefighters were also fighting the elements, but they were able to save the office building next door. (Photo by Andy Rogers)
A fire destroyed a storage building along with four trucks and other equipment last week at Olson Carriers Inc., a business located along Highway 52 in Coates. Area firefighters were also fighting the elements, but they were able to save the office building next door. (Photo by Andy Rogers)

A family-owned trucking business is picking up the pieces after a fire destroyed one of its buildings last week.

It took several area fire departments from Rosemount, Farmington, Hastings, Eagan, Inver Grove Heights and Randolph-Hampton to contain a burning storage building owned by Olson Carriers Inc. located just north of the County Road 46 interchange along Highway 52 in Rosemount.

It was reported by one of the company’s drivers showing up for a shift. As of Tuesday, owner Tom Olson didn’t know the cause of the fire.

The frigid weather, slippery streets and fierce wind increased the degree of difficulty during the early morning hours of Dec. 14, but they were able to keep it from spreading.

No one was hurt in the fire, but the shipping company lost four trucks and several pieces of equipment along with the building

Olson was deeply appreciative efforts.

“The building was in close proximity to our main office, and they were able to keep the fire contained so there was no damage to the office,” Olson said. “All the departments did a fantastic job.”

Olson Carriers was operating at 100 percent the next day.

“It was a limited productive day because of the interruption, but most of our trucks were parked in another building,” Olson said. “They were able to get back to work.”

Olson said he’s received an outpouring of support since the fire.

“It’s something that we have to deal with that we’ve never had to in the past,” Olson said. “I’m pleasantly overwhelmed by the support we’ve gotten from the industry and the people we work side by side with, even from some competitors. It was nice to hear the love and concern.”

The business started in 1957 when Kermit Olson purchased a 1950 Ford truck to carry livestock in Paynesville to the stockyards in South St. Paul. His sons purchased the business from him in 1966 when it had six straight trucks, two tractors and five trailers, which hauled livestock and eggs all over the Midwest.

Jim Olson branched off from the business and moved to Rosemount in 1982 where he formed Olson Carriers Inc. He eventually sold the company to his son Tom Olson, who has been operating the business since 1997.

The company now transfers material like coal, frac sand, scrap iron and other dry bulk materials, and even a building fire won’t stop that from continuing.