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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Fertilizer plant near Moses Lake collapses after blaze

Oct. 23, 2022 Updated Sun., Oct. 23, 2022 at 6:29 p.m.

Residents in Grant County have been asked to shelter in place after a fire destroyed a Wilbur Ellis fertilizer plant.  (Courtesy of Grant County Sheriff's Office)
Residents in Grant County have been asked to shelter in place after a fire destroyed a Wilbur Ellis fertilizer plant. (Courtesy of Grant County Sheriff's Office)

A Wilbur Ellis fertilizer plant, near Moses Lake, collapsed after a fire fully engulfed it on Sunday afternoon, the Grant County Sheriff’s Office said.

A potentially hazardous plume of smoke was headed northeast where a small number of residents about a mile away from the fire were asked to close their doors and windows and shelter in place overnight as a precaution.

The fire was reported at about 3:15 p.m. The building, about three miles southeast of Moses Lake, was fully engulfed by the time Grant County Fire District 5 crews arrived, said Kyle Foreman, sheriff’s office public information .

The building collapsed by 5:15 p.m., the sheriff’s office said.

The strategy overnight was to let the fire smolder in an effort to prevent any unnecessary contaminated water runoff from the remains of the building, Foreman said. Fire crews planned to remain on scene overnight to monitor the situation, he said.

There were no injuries in the fire and the county fire marshal is investigating, the sheriff’s office said.

It’s not clear what was inside of the building when it caught fire, but the fertilizer at the plant was not considered flammable, Foreman said.

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