2 Ill. FFs injured in explosion at fire scene
Firefighters were moving to attack the fire from above on a catwalk when they were knocked down by the blast
The Register-Mail, Galesburg, Ill
GALESBURG, Ill. — Two firefighters received minor injuries from an explosion during a fire at 701 W. Sixth St. Street at 9:33 a.m Friday morning, according to a release from Galesburg Fire Chief Randy Hovind.
All three stations and the 11 personnel on duty responded to the fire at Innovative Production USA where a dryer bin with product on fire inside the bin was showing flames.
Upon arrival fire crews noted white pressurized smoke showing from a tower at the top of the building. Acting Battalion Chief Jon Cypert assumed command and fire crews were directed by employees to the area of the fire. Employees had already been trying to put the fire out with water.
Capt Brock Schmitt and Andrew O'Daniel advanced toward the top of the bin on a catwalk to attack the fire from the bin opening. Before they could get into position there was an explosion knocking down both Schmitt and O'Daniel. The explosion could be seen from outside the structure and actually blew off several metal ventilation panels. Interior fire crews were evacuated and exterior attack lines were quickly set up outside on the roof of the structure. The fire was brought under control in approximately 15 minutes.
Schmitt and O'Daniel received minor injuries and were transported to OSF St. Mary's Hospital by Galesburg Hospital Ambulance Service for evaluation. They were treated and released.
An emergency callback of the preceding shift was issued during the fire. The building did receive heavy smoke and fire damage. Galesburg Fire Department Investigators along with the Office of the State Fire Marshal's Office are still currently investigating the cause of the fire at this time.
Innovative Production USA started its business earlier this year at that address, which once was OptaFoods' food production facility. The company works in supplying plant-based ingredients to other food processing companies creating food products such as snack bars and protein shakes.
©2020 The Register-Mail, Galesburg, Ill.