Man critically injured in ethanol plant fire

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COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (WOWT) - Officials from the state fire marshal's office were at the Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy plant on Saturday, trying to determine what caused the fire that critically injured a tanker truck driver Friday afternoon.

The fire occurred around 3:30 p.m. at the ethanol plant on 189th Street near Interstate 29 south of Council Bluffs.

CBFD Assistant Fire Chief Jim Wheat said it took 45 minutes to an hour to bring the fire under control. Black smoke could be seen for miles. Fire officials said it happened as ethanol was being loaded onto a tanker truck.
CB Explosion
The injured man was taken by medical helicopter to an Omaha hospital. His name or extent of the injuries have not been disclosed.

Firefighters said they prepare for this kind of situation. "It's something we practice all the time because we've got, essentially, all the gas stations have ethanol fuel now and so we deal with it and practice with it all the time," said Wheat.