A very brief fire was reported last Saturday, May 6, at the Valero Renewables ethanol plant in Albion. There were no injuries.
The plant was undergoing planned maintenance at the time of the fire.
Albion Fire Chief Bruce Benne said his department was called at 5:49 p.m. for what was described as an explosion in the corn silo at Valero. Shortly after the first truck arrived, there was a second explosion, Benne said, with smoke and flames coming from a conveyer belt inside one of the legs at the top of the silo, 175 feet up.
Lillian Rojas, Valero’s director of media relations and communications, emphasized that the fire was quickly extinguished with no injuries.
“We were able to tie into a piping system that ran the length of the silo and apply water into the flighting to extinguish the fire and cool the flighting,” said Benne. “Valero evacuated their personnel, and we were on scene for approximately 2.5 hours.”
Boone County Sheriff’s office and Albion Police Department also responded to the plant. Law enforcement controlled traffic on Highway 14-39 and on 260th Street near the plant, and they were on the scene for about two hours.