VIDEO: A massive fire at a potato plant in Walden brought fears of an exploding ammonia tank, forcing the evacuation of nearly a third of the town for several hours.
The fire broke out at the Washington Potato Plant around 5:30 p.m. in one of the dehydrators, according to Kyle Foreman with the Grant County Sheriff's Office.
Employees that were in the building made it out safely as the flames spread, eventually engulfing much of the plant. Among the items in the burning building was large 5,500 gallon ammonia tank that firefighters worried could explode and send a toxic cloud over the region, and officials issued an urgent immediate evacuation notice for the surrounding area.
Officials went door to door urging nearby residents to leave as firefighters asked for help from all fire departments in Grant County to help contain the flames. By 8 p.m., more than two dozen firefighting crews were at the blaze, Foreman said.