Minnesota Community Evacuated After Large Poultry Processing Plant Blaze

Authorities have evacuated a community in southeastern Minnesota as a large fire at a poultry processing plant threatened the anhydrous ammonia tanks inside.

Civil defense sirens blared Friday to warn the 3,600 residents of St. Charles to get out and officials went door-to-door ordering people to head toward Lewiston, about 10 miles to the east.

The fire at North Star Foods threatened tanks of anhydrous ammonia, used as a refrigerant in the plant. The chemical can cause severe burns, particularly to the eyes, throat and lungs.

City Administrator Nick Koverman says there were about 30,000 pounds of it inside the plant.

No injuries have been reported among the 150 workers at the plant.