POLK COUNTY, Iowa – Three firefighters were injured while battling an industrial warehouse fire in Saylor Township, located just outside Des Moines, on Saturday.
A passerby reported the fire at 1863 NE 54th Avenue at about 8:40 a.m. Saturday. More than half a dozen area fire departments responded to the scene. Officials said that the fire was under control at about 12 p.m. and extinguished by 2:30 p.m.. Crews remain on the scene monitoring hot spots.
PHOTO GALLERY: North-Side Industrial Warehouse Fire
“Prior to [the firefighters’] arrival there was heavy fire and a couple of explosions, once they arrived they had several more explosions. At this point the fire is under control, there’s no risk of it spreading beyond the structure that’s currently involved,” Deputy Director of Polk County Emergency Management Jon Davis said.
According to Polk County Emergency Management, three firefighters were injured while battling the blaze. Two firefighters suffered heatstroke and were transported to an area hospital. They are listed in good condition. A third firefighter suffered burns and was treated on the scene. A fourth firefighter was taken to the hospital after suffering chest pains.
Davis said that Benjamin Moore & Co., the Body Parts Store and Seneca Tank are located in the building. The cause of the fire is unknown.
Saylorville Township fire crews initially were dispatched to the fire. Additional departments were called in to assist including Ankeny, Altoona, Delaware, Grimes, Johnston, Pleasant Hill, Urbandale and Des Moines.
Firefighters have asked anyone within half a mile of the fire to shut windows and turn off air conditioners if they smell smoke in their house due to hazardous chemicals in the air.
Several streets have been closed in the area of the fire due to possible chemical contamination. Polk County has set up air quality monitoring stations around the area, so far no issues have been reported. Hazmat crews set up absorbent booms to make limit any chemical runoff.