IOWA - Calamar Food Plant Damaged by Fire : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread


Calmar food plant damaged by fire

By Kristophere' Owens Gazette staff writer March 20, 2000 09:26 AM

CALMAR -- A State Fire Marshal's Office investigator is expected to sort through the remains of a burned storage area at Calmar Foods today, after that part of the plant was destroyed by fire late Saturday.

Melted plastic egg cartons and charred pallets were all that was left from the fire, which started around 10 p.m. at the plant's east end. Calmar Fire Chief Pete Meyer said a Calmar police officer reported the fire.

Plenty of heavy smoke and flames were coming from the storage area that night, said Dean Schneberger of Calmar, who lives near the plant. He said the roof of the storage area collapsed about 20 minutes after firefighters arrived.

Hindered by cold weather and a heavy, wet snow, firefighters from Calmar, Decorah, Frankville, Ossian, Castalia and Fort Atkinson spent much of Saturday night and Sunday morning fighting the blaze.

Firefighters left the scene around 9 a.m. Sunday, but returned later that afternoon to extinguish some flare-ups and look for hot spots.

While the storage area was totaled, Meyer said firefighters did save the plant's processing area and offices near the storage area. Those areas had smoke and water damage throughout.

There were no injuries in the fire and no one was in the plant at the time. A dollar estimate of the damage was not available.

Calmar Foods general manager Gary Bell declined to comment about the fire, saying the plant may issue a statement today. About 70 people are employed at the plant, which breaks eggs for customers for further processing.

Calmar, a Winneshiek County town of 1,030, is about 80 miles north of Cedar Rapids.,1098,2226,00.html?curlocation=2&curedition=121&curdate=March+20%2C+2000

-- (, March 20, 2000


Note: Spelling correction in title, should be Calmar.

-- (, March 20, 2000.

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