Silos packed with sugar burn at refinery in Louisiana

CHALMETTE, La. (AP) — Two 10-story-high silos packed with refined sugar caught fire at the Domino Sugar refinery near New Orleans, authorities said. No injuries were reported.

The 111-year-old plant in Chalmette, Louisiana, is the largest cane sugar refinery in the Western Hemisphere, according to the company’s website.

The fire started about 4 p.m. Thursday and was out two and a half hours later, St. Bernard Parish Fire Chief Thomas Stone told news media.

Stone said Friday evening that investigators had not reported a cause to him, and the extent of the damages would have to come from Domino.

Domino’s parent company, ASR Group, did not immediately respond to an inquiry emailed on Friday.

The refinery had closed as Hurricanes Laura and Marco headed toward Louisiana, and the fire broke out as it was resuming operations Thursday afternoon, Parish President Guy McInnis told news outlets.

The plant, located on the southeastern outskirts of greater New Orleans, employs about 400 people. Officials said all 130 workers on shift duty at the time got out safely.

Eight firetrucks and 30 firefighters responded to the fire, The Times-Picayune / The New Orleans Advocate reported. Officials said firefighters from a nearby Valero refinery helped.

Stone told WWL-TV on Thursday that firefighters were heading up to a catwalk 10 stories above the ground to pump water directly into the silo.

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