Accidental Fire Destroys Building

Monday, February 24, 2014 @ 05:02 PM gHale


A worker grinding metal caused a spark that ignited a pile of metal turnings covered with oil at the Blue Grass, IA, Rich Metals plant earlier this month.

The fire ended up ruled an accident, officials said. Blue Grass Police Chief John Jensen said a worker was grinding metal when either a spark or hot metal ignited a pile of metal turnings covered with oil.

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The fire broke out at the recycling plant around 9 a.m. February 11. Thick fumes of smoke were visible from three miles away. The fire led to explosion of tires and tanks.

It took several hours for the firefighters from Blue Grass Fire Department to bring the fire under control. Bad weather disrupted the operation several times. Fire officials had to evacuate students from a nearby elementary school.

No one suffered any injuries. The fire damaged the building completely. Rich Metals said the fire caused a huge loss, but the building will end up rebuilt and operations will return to normal at the earliest.

Located in Davenport, Rich Metals Co. is a buyer, processor and recycler of ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metal.



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