The Garden City Fire Department, Kansas State Fire Marshal and Dairy Farmers of America are currently investigating the origin of a fire at the Garden City DFA plant Wednesday that firefighters fought for over four hours.
Thursday morning, the GCFD, DFA and state fire marshal opened a joint investigation into the fire’s cause, point of origin and damage, said Garden City Fire Chief Allen Shelton said.
Firefighters responded to the plant at 4:28 p.m., and arrived with 18 personnel and four trucks, Shelton said. The GCFD was assisted by Garden City police and the city electric department, which routinely stands by in the event of structure fires, Shelton said.
Thirty-four people were evacuated from the building, said Lana Urteaga, Garden City police public information officer, though several DFA maintenance personnel assisted firefighters as they fought the fire, Shelton said.
The fire was contained to the interior of the facility's dryer area, where milk is dried into powder, Shelton said. When the GCFD arrived at the plant, there were visible flames on the largest, highest portion of the dryer structure, he said. Firefighters fought the fire, which was present in two areas of the dryer, until about 8:51 p.m.
No one was injured, Shelton said. Urteaga said the facility sustained close to $1 million in damages.
The GCFD answered another call from the plant at about 11:25 p.m. Wednesday, which turned out to be a false alarm, Shelton said.