Firefighters catch blaze in time
POLK COUNTY -- A two-alarm blaze caused some damage at a fertilizer plant south of Monmouth on Monday, officials from Polk County Fire District No. 1.
A motorist driving by Wilbur-Ellis Co., 8655 Suver Road reported the fire at 5:35 p.m. Fire Marshal Jason Cane said the incident began when two pallets of wood fiber hydramulch sitting near a storage building "somehow spontaneously combusted."
Flames then spread to and charred the exterior wall of the 100-foot-by-250-foot facility. Firefighters from Polk No. 1, Corvallis and Adair arrived and knocked down the fire before it reached the roof.
One fire fighter suffered heat exhaustion during the incident, which caused about $5,000 in damage. Cane said the owners of the plant were lucky there was no fertilizer in the building.
"It was fortunate that somebody was driving by and saw it," he said. "Another 15 minutes and we would have had a big spot on the ground.