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Dryer Fire Breaks Out at Ethanol Plant

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The fire at the POET Biorefining facility in Ashton, IA started in the drying equipment during a wet cake process.

A blaze broke out in a dryer at the POET Biorefining ethanol plant near Ashton, IA last Thursday, prompting a response from several area fire departments, local news organizations reported.

The drying equipment was being used in a wet cake process at the time the fire ignited, Ashton Fire Chief Andy Gacke told Osceola County Daily News. Crews were called to the site around 8:30 a.m. and arrived at the scene to find flames on top of the dryer.

Distillers’ grains inside the dryer became combustible when the equipment was shut down for a short period prior to the fire, Chief Gacke said in coverage by KIWA Radio. The equipment sustained some minor damage.

Workers evacuated the structure without injury, an account by NWestIowa.com said. Firefighters were able to clear the scene by 12:30 p.m.

POET Biorefining’s Ashton plan has a capacity of 56 million gal/yr, according to the company’s website. The facility commenced full production in 2004.

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