Fire causes $30,000 in damage at fertilizer plant

Firefighters responding to a fire Monday at a fertilizer plant in Freeman Field had to deal with tight working conditions — and the smell of chicken manure.

Seymour Fire Chief Brad Lucas said the fire at United Granulated Services LLC most likely started when embers created by overheating in the manure-drying process traveled through the building’s duct work into a hopper outside, sparking the fire.

“It wasn’t an easy fire to deal with, but they handled it as best they could for the situation,” Lucas said of his firefighters. “They got it out quick and out safely.”

No one working at the plant was injured, and neither were any firefighters. Firefighters from all three of the city’s fire stations responded to fight the blaze at the plant at 2250 Fourth Ave. in Seymour.

Police blocked A Avenue between D Avenue East and Fourth Avenue on the south side of the 20,400-square-foot plant while firefighters worked to put out the fire. That work involved cutting into the duct work system to allow firefighters access to the flames.

The fire was reported at 5:57 p.m., and firefighters remained on the scene until 9 p.m., Lucas said.

Officials with United Granulation Services said the fire caused an estimated $30,000 in damage, which was mainly confined to the duct work, although there was light smoke damage throughout the plant, Lucas said.

United Granulation Services is a fertilizer service employing between five to nine people and was established in 2003, according to manta.com, a business listing website.

The fire was not significant enough to close operations Tuesday, an employee said.

United Granulation Services purchased the building from Seymour Aviation Commission on Jan. 27, 2004. The aviation commission owns the land where the building sits.

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Aaron Piper is a photographer and reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at apiper@tribtown.com or 812-523-7057.