Explosion sets off fire atop Land O'Lakes facility in central Minn.

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 29, 2013 - 7:31 PM

 

Equipment exploded on the roof of a Land O’Lakes plant in central Minnesota, igniting a fire that left one firefighter with minor burns, authorities said Friday. No other injuries were reported.

The explosion struck the Browerville plant shortly after 4:30 p.m. Thursday, the Todd County Sheriff’s Office said. Flames from the Thanksgiving Day blast spread to other equipment on the roof, the Sheriff’s Office added.

Rebecca Lentz, spokeswoman for the Arden Hills-based Fortune 500 company, declined to say whether there were any workers in the plant at the time, whether it was operating when the explosion occurred or whether the facility’s operations have been affected in any way.

City Council Member Robert Heid, who recently retired after 40 years as a firefighter, said the plant is staffed around the clock making a whey product that goes into animal feed.

Heid described the fire as “quite intense” after “one of the dryers blew up.”

There was no immediate word on what prompted the explosion.

Browerville firefighters were assisted by several neighboring departments, with personnel remaining on the scene for about seven hours.

A Browerville firefighter was slightly burned and taken to Long Prairie Hospital in a private vehicle for treatment, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Heid said the firefighter suffered from a flash burn, was treated by medical personnel and was released.

 

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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