A massive fire broke out at a historic Domino Sugar refinery in Baltimore April 20, resulting in a large storage dome collapsing under the flames.
The three-alarm fire tore through Domino Sugar’s massive raw sugar storage shed and entered the Baltimore sugar refinery on a conveyor belt, officials said.
Firefighters responded at 3 p.m. to the storage shed behind the waterfront refinery, where flames could be seen from a distance and thick smoke with an odor of burnt sugar billowed across the harbor.
The blaze originated near the shed, and the flames traveled midway into the refinery building via a nearby conveyor belt, said Blair Adams, a Baltimore City Fire Department spokeswoman, according to The Baltimore Sun.
Firefighters initially tried to enter the shed but were forced to fight the blaze from outside due to the intensity of the smoke and flames, Adams said.
The shed, which became fully engulfed, partially collapsed. All employees were able to evacuate the facility without assistance, and no injuries were reported, Adams said.
The refinery’s Florida-based owner, American Sugar Refining Group, said in a statement that all employees had been accounted for. The facility has halted operations, and the cause of the fire is under investigation, the company said.
Nearly two hours after the fire began, firefighters still battled hot spots to gain full control of the fire.
The 99-year-old refinery employs 510 full-time workers, processes about 6.5 million pounds of raw cane sugar a day.
The historic refinery, and its iconic Domino sign, have been a landmark in Baltimore since the early 1950s.
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