Five days after an explosion and series of small fires at MGP Ingredients, an investigation continues to pinpoint its cause.
“We don’t yet know the cause,” said MGP Spokeswoman Jenell Loschke on Wednesday. “Our investigation is ongoing.”
The blaze at MGP Ingredients in Atchison Friday lasted into the night after local fire departments responded following a reported explosion.
Local residents reported hearing a big boom about 8:15 p.m. and shortly after smoke blanketed this small Northeast Kansas community.
Deputy Fire Chief Patrick Weishaar said after firefighters arrived on the scene they investigated the damage from the explosion and found small fires throughout the area.
“Our crews were on the scene until the early hours of Saturday morning battling spot fires,” Weishaar said.
Firefighters returned about noon Saturday to attend to more flare ups, Weishaar said. As of early Sunday morning all the small fires had been extinguished.
“Mostly the flare ups were debris that resulted from the explosion, pieces of insulation and small pockets of grain,” Weishaar said. “The smoldering pockets of grain also explained the odor that was reported by citizens on social media.”
AFD firefighters collected their equipment from the scene on Monday.
Police Chief Mike Wilson said his officers, along with firefighters and other emergency personnel responded to the initial dispatch and quickly blocked of Main Street, between 10th and 14th streets.
Local resident Grant Franklin submitted drone photos that shows smoke billowing from a certain area of the distillery, and other local residents have submitted photos as well.
Chief Wilson reported there were no injuries and all employees were able to be evacuated.
Mid-morning Saturday all streets adjacent to MGP had been cleared for regular traffic flow. A group of officials appeared to be assessing the scene within the a plant adjacent to a Main Street entrance between the distillery and food ingredient production sites, amid some smoldering near by and a smoky smell.
Atchison County Emergency Management and Atchison County EMS also responded to the initial page at the scene in addition to Atchison police and firefighters, Weishaar said.