CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (Heartland News at 9) -
50 firefighters responded to a three-alarm fire at a cement plant in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
The fire was at Buzzi Unicem USA on Sprigg Street.
Crews were called out around 11:30 p.m. Monday, August 7.
According to emergency personnel on the scene, around eight workers were in the building at the time the fire broke out. The fire alarm went off and the workers began trying to put out the flames with fire extinguishers.
The fire was in a coal hopper which contained a large amount of pulverized coal, according to the fire department.
Authorities say the fire was widespread and caused crews on the scene to worry about some of the burning coal falling down from higher floors; crews were concerned about a possible explosion and evacuated the building.
The plant is described as inoperable as of this time and at least half of the facility is closed down. Power has been shut down and the only people allowed inside are maintenance crews to assess the damage.
Seven fire engines and about 50 firefighters were on scene to help control the flames. Jackson and Scott City Fire Departments also responded for mutual aid. A ladder truck from the Sikeston Department of Public Safety also responded.
The Cape Girardeau County Firefighters Association Air Van responded to the scene to help with refilling breathing air cylinders. The American Red Cross established a rehab area for firefighters on the scene.
As of 1 a.m. on Tuesday, August 8, the fire was extinguished. Crews cleared the scene just after 5 a.m.
Fire Departments from Millersville Fire Protection District, Fruitland Fire Protection District and East County Fire Protection District responded to six calls for service while crews from Cape Girardeau were on the scene of the fire at the cement plant.
No injuries were reported.
The fire marshal has been called in to investigate.
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