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Explosion, fire at Sheboygan County farm co-op

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Crews work to control a fire at the Adell Co-op in Sheboygan County, Sept. 14, 2011. (courtesy of FOX 11).
Crews work to control a fire at the Adell Co-op in Sheboygan County, Sept. 14, 2011. (courtesy of FOX 11).

SHEBOYGAN COUNTY, WI (WTAQ) - Residents in the village of Adell are being allowed back after a fire at a farm co-op prompted an evacuation Wednesday morning.

The fire was reported at 3:15 a.m., and forced people living within a one-mile radius to be evacuated.

Officials say the fire damaged about a third of the plant, destroying a farming feed and chemical warehouse.

Jerry Leick, the general manager at the co-op, tells FOX 11 the biggest concern is the environmental impact of the fire. Leick says the concern is the farm chemicals running into area streams.

The DNR is on scene, blocking culverts, hoping to avoid the spread of the chemicals.

Several explosions were reported earlier, but officials believe it was the sound of propane tanks relieving pressure from the heat of the fire. They say the tanks did not explode.

Adell Fire Chief Will Schneiderwent says about 200 firefighters were on scene. Schneiderwent says residents were evacuated as a precaution for air quality concerns. He says the air quality tested low, allowing the residents to return home.

Officials say the fire could have been much worse if it happened in the spring when the plant has a larger inventory of farm chemicals.

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