Multiple units responded Tuesday afternoon to a three-alarm fire at McMinnville's Organic Valley Creamery, 700 North Highway 99W. Firefighters were still working on the property early Wednesday morning.
The 2 p.m. fire reportedly was confined to a warehouse. A major concern on the part of McMinnville Fire Department officials was the release of anhydrous ammonia. It can cause irritation to eyes and lead to trouble breathing.
It is used as a refrigerant at the creamery, which produces butter, nonfat dry milk powder and buttermilk powder with milk from Oregon and Washington farms.
McMinnville High School, to the southwest, was evacuated and the final period of the day canceled. Students and those from other district schools were sent home. Staff members were evacuated, too.
Afternoon school athletics and activities were also canceled as were youth soccer matches at Joe Dancer Park.