Lights and Sirens

Fire Near Ethanol Plant Building Damages Grinder

Ashton, Iowa — A hammermill was damaged in a fire at the Ashton ethanol plant on Thursday, January 7, 2021.

According to Ashton Fire Chief Andy Gacke, at about 3:15 p.m., the Ashton Fire Department was called to the report of a hammermill on fire at POET Biorefining south of Ashton.

The chief says the fire department saw flames coming from the hammermill’s exhaust tube as they approached the scene. He says they called for help from the Sibley and Sheldon Fire Departments and asked Sheldon to bring their aerial truck. He says that truck was used to cool the tower.

Gacke says no injuries were reported.

He says the cause of the fire is officially undetermined, but may have been due to a bad bearing.

Chief Gacke reports that there was about $10,000 damage.

He says the firefighters who responded were on scene for two and a half hours.

Gacke wants to thank the workers at Poet, who helped them come up with a plan. He says the workers and firefighters work well together. He also wants to thank the Sibley and Sheldon firefighters and says they all worked well together.

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