An emergency alarm at a corn processing plant came days after the first anniversary of a silo explosion at the same plant that killed one firefighter with the Clinton (Iowa) Fire Department and critically injured another.
The Wednesday alarm at the Archer Daniels Midland corn processing plant proved to be a small fire that was easily extinguished.
On Jan. 5, 2019, firefighters from the same department responded to a smoldering fire reported in a storage silo, according to the department’s Facebook page. Among the responders were Lt. Eric “Hoss” Hosette and firefigbter Adam Cain.
Hosette and Cain had stretched a 50-foot hose to the top of the silo and were delivering water to the fire when an explosion tore through the structure. The blast threw both firefighters off the roof, according to an Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Administration report.
After a 30-minute search, firefighters found Cain alive but critically injured inside the silo. Hosette, found on the ground outside, died from his injuries.
Only weeks earlier, Hosette had been elected by his fellow firefighters to be the new chief of the department, the Des Moines Register reported.
The Iowa OSHA report alleged that ADM’s failure to communicate details about the silo and its contents hindered firefighters in battling the blaze. ADM told firefighters that the silo was filled with a “germ product” of a “slurry-type consistency” when, in fact, the contents were gluten feed pellets, the report states.
Workers attempting to clear solidified material were aware of the smoldering inside the silo at least two days before the Jan. 5 fire alarm, according to the report.
ADM announced at the time it would contest the findings in court.
Cain has since returned to duty with the department. Last October, the department honored Hosette by dedicating its newest ladder truck to him.
The truck was officially dubbed “The Hoss.”