UPDATE: Firefighters will watch scene 24/7 until clear, after responding to ‘substantial’ fire at BioUrja ethanol plant

Published: May. 13, 2022 at 1:53 PM CDT|Updated: May. 13, 2022 at 4:47 PM CDT
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UPDATE 4:40 P.M. - Interim Fire Chief Shawn Sollberger says a crew of three firefighters (some called in from off duty) will be on scene underneath the Cedar Street Bridge 24/7 until everything is clear, in an arrangement with OSHA.

It is estimated that 2,700 bushels of grain were lost in the silo as a result of the explosion.

The other silo at risk of falling is believed to be around 30% full of grain. It is unsure if there is still a fire burning inside or there is off-gas from the dust and smoke.

Water is not being pumped through the silo due to risks of collapse from the extra weight.

It is believed that the silos will remain standing until Tuesday or Wednesday when they are expected to be torn down.

UPDATE 2:45 P.M. - Interim Peoria Fire Chief Shawn Sollberger says conditions have improved drastically since crews responded an hour ago for a smoke alarm at the BioUrja plant in Peoria.

Sollberger says heavy black smoke could be seen which caused concerns for him and the crew and made for a tough decision on how to respond.

The “substantial fire” was believed to be in the same general location as the fire Wednesday night.

Crews are still on scene applying water.

Sollberger says it’s a wait-and-see approach and firefighters will remain on scene until things look under control.

PEORIA (WEEK) - First responders are on-scene of a “substantial” new fire at the BioUrja ethanol plant.

Peoria’s Interim Fire Chief Shawn Sollberger says the new fire is at a currently “unknown location” and is “much worse than this morning.”

He says they are worried about a potential explosion.

There are concerns of being able to put this new fire out as they navigate collapsed structures.

Firefighters were initially called to the plant on Wednesday night for what was being called a “major grain explosion” at the plant once owned by ADM.

A federal OSHA investigation has been launched.

This story will be updated.

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