Fire Forces Evacuation of Iowa Town

Fertilizer at a plant contains sulfuric acid, a chemical that can be harmful if inhaled

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Levi Ismail / AP

Smoke rises from a fire in Northwood, Iowa, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014. Authorities say an evacuation order is in place for Northwood due to a fire at a fertilizer plant at Northwood Municipal Airport.

An entire town in northern Iowa was being evacuated Thursday as emergency responders fought a fire at a nearby fertilizer plant.

The blaze at the plant about a mile east of Northwood started Thursday morning, the Associate Press reports. Scott Bright, a spokesman for Iowa State Patrol, said that crop dusting fertilizer at the plant contains sulfuric acid, a chemical that can be harmful if inhaled.

“We’re in the process of evacuating the town,” Bright said. “The number one concern is to get everybody out of the town until the fire is put out.”

At least four Northwood residents were being treated at a local hospital, the AP reports. The town, located about 130 miles north of Des Moines, is home to about 2,000 people.

[AP]

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