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Fire breaks out at Minn. ethanol plant

FERGUS FALLS, Minn. -- Fire crews responded late Monday afternoon to a fire at an ethanol plant in Fergus Falls. The Fergus Falls Fire Department received an initial report of a fire in the dryer building of the Green Plains Renewable Energy plan...

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Smoke drifts from an ethanol plant near Fergus Falls, Minn., on March 10.

FERGUS FALLS, Minn. -- Fire crews responded late Monday afternoon to a fire at an ethanol plant in Fergus Falls.

The Fergus Falls Fire Department received an initial report of a fire in the dryer building of the Green Plains Renewable Energy plant shortly before 4:30 p.m., said Fergus Falls Fire Chief Mark Hovland. When they arrived on scene, Hovland said there was an explosion. No one was injured in the fire or subsequent explosion.

There were only seven employees working in the plant at the time of the fire, said General Manager Anthony Hicks. During normal hours between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., there are usually 20 to 25 employees working, Hicks said, but most had already gone home for the day.

Hovland said it was too early to determine the cause of the fire.

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