GALESBURG (WEEK) – A fire and explosion at a Galesburg food processing plant on Friday sent two firefighters to the hospital, but they were not seriously injured.
Galesburg firefighters got the call about 9:35 a.m. to Innovation Production USA at 701 W. Sixth St., in the southwest part of the city, where a dryer bin with product inside caught fire.
Fire crews said they saw “white, pressurized smoke” showing from a tower at the top of the building.
The explosion occurred while Fire Captain Brock Schmitt and firefighter Andrew O’Daniel were on a catwalk, about 15-20 feet above the ground, advancing a hose line to put the fire.
The blast knocked Schmitt against the catwalk railing, while O’Daniel fell about a half-dozen feet to a lower-level catwalk, according to Acting Battalion Chief Jon Cypert.
The explosion could also be seen from outside the building, and was strong enough to blow off several ventilation panels, said Cypert.
Schmitt and O’Daniel were each released after treatment from OSF St. Mary’s Hospital in Galesburg.
The fire department said there was heavy smoke and fire damage to the business, but no dollar estimate of damage is available.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office and Galesburg Fire Department investigators are looking into the cause.