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Fire burns POET-DSM stover bales

By Staff | Jul 23, 2014

EMMETSBURG – The Emmetsburg Fire Department was summoned Saturday night to a fire in the POET-DSM stackyard when bales of corn stover started burning, shortly before 11 p.m.

“Emergency personnel contained the fire using water lines in the stackyard,” said Matt Merritt, director of public elations for POET-DSM. “The plant was not affected and there were no injuries.

“POET-DSM is investigating the cause of the fire.”

Merritt pointed out the main stackyard holds three weeks supply of biomass and the fire affected a portion of that supply.

The bales are the source for Project Liberty’s cellulosic ethanol manufacturing.

“In the big picture, it isn’t a total loss of that stackpile,” said Daron Wilson, general manager of POET Biorefining in Emmetsburg.

Affected bales of biomass are still smoldering at the site on Monday.

“They will smolder for a while,” said Wilson. “We’re going to monitor the site for at least a couple more days.”

Volunteer fire departments from Emmetsburg, Cylinder, Mallard and Ruthven assisted with the Saturday night fire.

Volunteers from the community were on hand to move unaffected bales.

“The fire departments responded very well,” said Wilson. “A situation like this takes a lot of people and a lot of hours.

“Everyone is working well together. This brings out a lot of team work and it’s very positive.”

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