Saturday fire at fertilizer plant forces Highway 20 closure, evacuation of 2 homes
Monday, 02 November 2015 15:55
A Saturday afternoon fire at the Farmers-Ranchers Cooperative fertilizer plant west of Ainsworth closed down Highway 20 for approximately 45 minutes and forced the brief evacuation of two nearby homes.
According to Ainsworth Fire Chief Brad Fiala, at approximately 1:50 p.m. Saturday, firefighters received a call of black smoke coming out of the top of the new fertilizer plant building approximately 1.5 miles west of Ainsworth.
Fiala said the 75-foot conveyor leg at the fertilizer plant caught fire.
Fiala said firefighters worked with coop employees, figuring out the best way to keep any flames from reaching the ammonium nitrate stockpiles.
The Brown County Sheriff’s Department and Nebraska State Patrol blocked traffic on Highway 20, and two homes close to the fertilizer plant were evacuated.
The fire chief said firefighters covered the ammonium nitrate stockpile with tarp, then sprayed water from the roof of the building where it connected to the top of the leg. He said the rubber conveyor belt and plastic buckets were burning, along with residue from the previous material that had been run through the conveyor.
Fiala said a contractor had been at the site sealing the area where the conveyer leg attaches to the roof of the building.
In addition to the Ainsworth Volunteer Fire Department, the Brown County Sheriff’s Department and the Nebraska State Patrol, Fiala said the Brown County Ambulance Service was on scene in a standby capacity, which is protocol anytime there is a response to a structure fire.
He said firefighters were on scene for approximately 3 hours Saturday, and one firefighter remained to keep the site secure until the Nebraska State Fire Marshal’s Office arrived to investigate.
SD man sentenced
Monday, 02 November 2015 15:54
A South Dakota man who admitted to sexually abusing a woman on the Rosebud Indian Reservation has been sentenced to three years in federal prison.
U.S. District Judge Roberto Lange ordered the 31-year-old Cyprian Night Shield to follow his prison term with five years of supervised release. The Rosebud man earlier pleaded guilty to one count of abusive sexual contact.
Federal prosecutors say Night Shield was at his home on Aug. 15, 2014, when a woman visited him. Authorities say Night Shield took the woman to a back bedroom and locked the door and sexually abused her.
Night Shield is now under the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.