Crew extinguishes Miss. plant fire

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 23, 2014 at 9:15 pm •  Published: January 23, 2014

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A fire at a north Mississippi biofuels plant has been extinguished.

The fire, put out about 7:30 p.m. Thursday, had been burning since early Wednesday at the plant near New Albany, but no injuries were reported. There were also at least three explosions at JNS Biofuels, formerly known as North Mississippi Biodiesel.

"The fire is out," said Mississippi Emergency Management Agency spokesman Brett Carr in a telephone interview. "It took less than an hour."

Firefighters used 100 gallons of foam and 20,000 gallons of water to put out the blaze, he said. Crews currently are working to ensure that mixture doesn't get into area rivers and streams, he said.

Plant manager Carl Harlin said damage could be in the millions.

Classes were canceled Thursday as a precaution at schools in nearby New Albany, a town of about 8,000 people. There also was a voluntary evacuation order for about 50 homes.

"The evacuation was voluntary to begin with so folks have been allowed back in their homes," Carr said. "It's really up to the homeowner. They'll likely officially lift it Friday."

Carr said the fire began with an explosion Wednesday morning at the plant. He said there was a second explosion Wednesday afternoon and a third Thursday morning.

Carr said the plant makes poultry-based biofuel, and officials believe chicken fat and glycerol were burning.

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