Biofuel Plant Explosion Could Cost Iowa Fire Department $80,000
12/12/22 UPDATE: The Marengo Fire Department is dealing with unprecedented territory following the department's battle of the C6-Zero plant fire, which exploded last week. The fire department treasurer stated that due to the products manufactured at C6-Zero, a shingle recycling plant, firefighters' gear was stained with oil. The department hasn't been able to get their articles cleaned since.
The problem goes even deeper. Being that the material handled and produced by C6-Zero was flammable, having firefighters go into burning buildings in that uncleaned gear is extremely dangerous. As a result, the Marengo Fire Department might have to purchase new gear.
Swift revealed that move could cost the department huge money. Per KCRG:
It’s about $3,000 per person. And we got 28 guys who probably have to have new gear. So that’s like $80,000 for the stuff we got to replace
The department is still mulling over ways to extract the oil from the gear. No decision has been made, as the department continues to explore options to get the clothes clean. Read more here.
ORIGINAL STORY PUBLISHED ON FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9TH
Multiple people are being treated at University of Iowa Health Hospitals and Clinics for injuries after a biofuel plant exploded in the town of Marengo, IA.
On the morning of December 8th, 2022, an explosion from the C6 Zero manufacturing plant rocked the town of Marengo. It was large and concerning enough for the city to enact an evacuation order for all homes and businesses within an eight-block radius of the plant. Iowa State Patrol revealed to local news outlet, KCCI, that several agencies within a 30-50 mile radius responded to the fire.
According to their website, C6 Zero's plants convert roofing shingles to biofuel and other products. Eyewitness accounts and ample news and cell-phone video show black smoke billowing out of the building in the immediate aftermath of the explosion.
Iowa State Patrol said that approximately 30 people were in the plant at the time of the explosion. All were accounted for, the best news of all. UI Hospitals reported that they were treating anywhere from 10-15 people who were at C6 Zero. The majority of the patients were said to have "minor to moderate" injuries. Mostly, the injuries were burn related.
In fact, UI Hospitals were planning on treating far more patients given the severity of the explosion. It was a miracle in itself that nobody was seriously hurt nor killed.
It took firefighters until 4:30am Friday morning to fully extinguish the blaze. While no official cause of the fire has been released at this time, officials say that high concentrations of dust could be the culprit. When large amounts of dust become airborne, all it could take is a spark due to overheated equipment or even just your average electrostatic shock to ignite a fire, or even cause an explosion.
Flammable gas commonly found inside these plans could also be the cause of the fire as well.
Read more about the C6 Zero plant explosion, and see photos, in The Des Moines Register.