A welding accident was the cause of a huge fire at a fertilizer plant in Sterling, CO, officials said.
The Sterling Fire Department got a call from workers inside the Kugler Company fertilizer plant about the fire at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
Ten workers inside the plant at the time of the fire all were able to get out safely. In addition, they were able to get liquid fertilizer chemical tanks shut off before they could burn so it wasn’t as much of a chemical fire.
During the fire a small amount of anhydrous ammonia leaked out of pipes, prompting an emergency call to about 200 households on the northeast side of town.
The chemical has a strong odor and could be harmful for people with respiratory problems. To date, there haven’t been any reports of anyone getting sick.
According to Sterling Fire Chief Kurt Vogel, the blaze, which burned nearly 95 percent of the building, was under control by 5 p.m.
Crews remained at the scene overnight to keep putting water on the building.