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Fire caused by burning weeds

September 24, 2010

(The Morning News — Melanie Moore) A firefighter walks in front of the storage building at Sartori Foods Wednesday as giant plumes of black smoke extend from the ground high into the air from the structure. Downtown Blackfoot was evacuated due to the smoke.

BLACKFOOT — The fire Wednesday that destroyed a storage building for Sartori Foods was likely caused by an employee burning weeds outside the building, according to Blackfoot Fire Chief Kevin Gray.
The building contained packaging materials including cardboard and plastic as well as cleaning chemicals. Gray said the chemicals were typical household chemicals such as chlorine, ammonia, sodium hydroxide and hyrdocarbons.
Damages are estimated to be $65,000.
Gray said there should be no major health concerns from the chemicals burning and entering the air. The small explosions that were heard at the fire were likely the reaction of chorine and hydrocarbons mixing together, he said.
Lt. Ben Hirschi said firefighters were on the ground at the scene of the fire until 9:30 a.m. Thursday morning. The fire began at approximately 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Evacuations were ordered for everyone within a three-block radius of the fire. Evacuations orders were lifted when power was restored just after 9 p.m.

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