Ashton, Iowa — A dryer used in the wet cake process at Poet Biorefining was damaged in a fire on Thursday, October 29, 2020, near Ashton.
According to Ashton Fire Chief Andy Gacke, about 8:30 a.m., the Ashton Fire Department was called to the report of a dryer fire at Poet Biorefining south of Ashton.
The chief says they arrived to find a fire burning in the top of the dryer itself. He says it was a bit of a challenge to get at. He says they needed coordination. But as soon as they figured that out, they were able to put out the fire in a timely fashion.
Gacke says no injuries were reported.
The fire department was assisted by Sibley and Sheldon firefighters. Sheldon firefighters brought the ladder truck, and Gacke says that helped them because they could cool the tower down from the outside while other firefighters accessed the fire on the inside.
He says the dryer had been shut down for a short time, which was enough to create combustible distiller’s grains.
Chief Gacke reports that there was moderate damage to the dryer and its contents were destroyed.
He says the firefighters who responded were on the scene for about four hours.
Gacke says kudos go out to the Poet employees who assisted, and to the firefighters from Sibley and Sheldon who responded. He says their help makes it possible to cover a plant such as Poet when something goes wrong.