Wednesday Afternoon Fire Call


Vans Recycling center fire.

Le Mars Fire-Rescue Chief Dave Schipper says the Department was called out at 3:38 p.m.  A fire had broken out beside a recycling building.  A loaded semi-trailer was on fire, and it had spread to several bales of recycled materials.  The trailer was backed up to a loading dock, and strong winds pushed the fire into the recycling building.

It took 45 minutes to get the blaze under control, using water and firefighting foam.  Three lines, and areal streams from the Le Mars and Orange City Fire Department were put to use.

Schipper says the fire was determined to have started in the semi-trailer, and was accidental in nature.  The most probable cause was a lithium battery that exploded and caught fire.  Employees at Van’s initially tried to put out the fire with extenguishers.  One employee received minor burns, and was treated at the scene by Le Mars Fire Rescue.

Schipper says this was a large, fast-moving, dangerous fire.  Several firefighters were checked and rehabbed by EMS personnel.  45 firefighters and EMS personnel responded to the call.

Le Mars Police, the Plymouth County Sheriffs Department, Orange City Fire Department, Mid-American Energy, and the city of Le Mars Water Department assisted at the scene.