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Column Fire Reported at Biodiesel Plant

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Reports said a five-story tower was holding biodiesel at the time the blaze broke out at Seaboard Energy’s St. Joseph, MO plant.

A fire broke out at the Seaboard Energy biodiesel plant in St. Joseph, MO Wednesday night after a tower overheated, several local news organizations reported.

Firefighters were dispatched to the location around 6 p.m. and observed that the structure was engulfed in flames upon arrival, according to television news station KQTV. Because of the nature of the fire, officials told the broadcaster that crews used foam to douse the flames.

The fire involved a five-story column that contained biodiesel, coverage by The St. Joseph News-Press said. Workers at the site attempted to ventilate to cool the column. St. Joseph Fire Department said in the newspaper’s account that three firefighters received minor burns during the response and one other experienced heat exhaustion.

Seaboard Energy, part of Seaboard Corporation, produces biodiesel at the St. Joseph plant using an enzymatic process that includes a distillation column, information on the firm’s website states. The facility has a capacity of 30 million gal/yr.

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