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Large fire at Postville IA Meat packing plant

| November 16, 2013 | 0 Comments
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On Saturday morning at 2:41 am, the Postville Fire Department was
dispatched to Agri-Star Meat & Poultry for a working fire in the iaundry
room. Upon arrival thick black smoke was observed coming from the
lower entrance of the 350,000 square foot facility. The Castalia and
Luana fire departments were call in immediately for mutual aid. As
interior firefighter attack crews entered the building, there were
concerns on the fire breaking through and reaching the 2nd floor
through stairwells, and other adjacent rooms. Additional fire
departments from Frankville, IVIonona, as well as Decorah’s Aerial Unit
were called infor support. The fire was under control and suppressed
at approximately 04:30.

Fire Chief Jeffrey Bohr state’s the fire was difficult to suppress due to
the large square footage of the facility and having to add several
additional hose lines to reach the fire. There were also concerns ofthe
stability of the overhead structures of the 2ncl and Elrcl floors. This was a
tremendous save! Had the fire broke through and gained access to the
areas where manufacturing materials like cardboard, Styrofoam trays,
labels, chemicals, and other items are stored, it would have been much
different outcome.

Upon investigation to the fire at this time, it has been ruled as an
accidental fire due to a dryer left running unattended. Vídeo footage
observed by Chief Bohr indicates the fire was already involved inside
the facility at 10:00 pm. As the fire slowly progressed inside, overhead
PVC water lines melted or broke to slow down the fires progression as
well as lack of oxygen. The plants maintenance Superintendent was
notified at 02:25 hours by Security Staff of possible issues down in the

lower portion ofthe facility. Upon his arrival and opening the main
doors, it was evident of a large fire and contacted 911. No one was
inside the plant when the fire broke out due to Sabbath.

Postville Fire Department was assisted by the Luana, Castaila,
Frankville, |Vlonona, and Decorah Fire Departments, as weil as Postville
Police Department and Allamakee County Emergency Management.

No damage estimates available at this time.

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Category: Local News

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