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Forum staff reports, Published February 25 2011

Roof fire damages Wahpeton Cargill plant

WAHPETON, N.D. – A smoldering fire damaged the roof of the Cargill plant in rural Wahpeton on Thursday afternoon.

Some plant workers were sent home for the day and others went to safe locations as firefighters from the Wahpeton and Dwight fire departments worked to extinguish a smoldering fire that spread through roof insulation, said Alan Viane, facility manager at the plant that produces high fructose corn syrup.

The fire started in an area where contractors were attempting to create an access panel in the roof, Viane said.

Insulation began smoldering, and the fire spread though the insulation layer of the roof.

Viane said firefighters used thermal imaging to trace the path of the fire and eliminate problem spots.

The Richland County Sheriff’s Department issued a report on the fire about 1 p.m.

Viane said at about 2:30 p.m. that it appeared the fire had been put out and he anticipated the plant would be up and running again later in the afternoon.