Around 9 pm tonight a MABAS was toned out by the Beloit FB. At least 15 area fire departments were dispatched to assist the Beloit FD for a structure fire, which started on the Northeast side of the building where the electrical room is housed. When crews arrived a large fire and heavy smoke was reported from the exterior of that part of the building. Crews were able to quickly put it out, but continued to be on scene for a few more hours after they extinguished the fire while employees of the plant worked to cut power to plant so fire crews could safely inspect the interior of the building to ensure the fire was completely out.
It is suspected the fire was electrical, but the cause is still under investigation.
One person was injured in the fire, receiving burns, and was transported via ambulance to a UW hospital. No fire fighters or civilians were hurt.
The fire was at 4220 S Walters Rd, at the Linde North America Inc plant.
Beloit Scanner is reporting there is 600,000 gallons of Nitrogen inside the building.
Nitrogen: the chemical element of atomic number 7, a colorless, odorless unreactive gas that forms about 78 percent of the earth’s atmosphere. Liquid nitrogen (made by distilling liquid air) boils at 77.4 kelvins (-195.8°C) and is used as a coolant.
Update from Beloit Scanner: They have requested the medical helicopter to the scene. One person is suffering burns. Still developing.
Genie Mitok Hollenbeck: The explosion sounded like a jet plane & then a huge cloud of black smoke.