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Fire Destroys Storage Building at Illinois Chemical Plant

April 19, 2018

2 Min Read
Fire Destroys Storage Building at Illinois Chemical Plant
The Helena Agri-Enterprises facility in Orion, IL. Image courtesy of Google Maps

A fire ignited in storage building full of agricultural chemicals at the Helena Agri-Enterprises fertilizer plant in Orion, IL on Wednesday, rendering the structure a “total loss,” local fire officials said.

Hazardous materials (HazMat) and fire crews responded to the blaze at about noon after a fire alarm activated within the plant, finding flames in a storage structure that had recently been filled with product, Orion Fire Chief Doug Smutzer told Moline, IL-based ABC News affiliate WQAD.

Witnesses interviewed by the Rock Island Dispatch-Argus said they observed flames reaching over 100 ft. and heard five explosions during the incident. No injuries were reported. A member of a HazMat team that responded to the scene told Davenport, IA-based NBC News affiliate KWQC that although some chemicals were burning at the facility, no danger was posed to the area residents. Firefighters remained at the plant overnight to watch for hot spots

Formerly known as The Helena Chemical Company, Helena Agri-Enterprises is an agricultural and specialty formulator and distributor offering fertilizer and crop protection products, specialized nutrients, seed treatments and seeds, and a number of related services.

The cause of the fire remains unknown.

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