Explosion, Fire Damage Land O'Lakes Facility in Minn.

Flames from the Thanksgiving Day blast in Browerville then spread to other equipment on the roof.

Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

Nov. 29--Equipment exploded on the roof of a Land O'Lakes facility in central Minnesota, igniting a fire that left one firefighter with minor burns, authorities said Friday.

No other injuries were reported.

The explosion struck the facility in Browerville shortly after 4:30 p.m. Thursday, according to the Todd County Sheriff's Office.

Flames from the Thanksgiving Day blast then spread to other equipment on the roof, the Sheriff's Office added.

Rebecca Lentz, spokeswoman for the Arden Hills-based Fortune 500 company, declined to say whether there were any workers in the plant at the time, whether it was operating when the explosion occurred or whether the facility's operations have been affected in any way.

City Council Member Robert Heid, who recently retired as a firefighter after 40 years, said the plant is staffed around the clock making a whey product that goes into animal feed.

Heid described the fire as "quite intense" after "one of the dryers blew up." There was no immediate word on what prompted the explosion.

Browerville firefighters were assisted by numerous neighboring departments, with personnel remaining on the scene for about 7 hours.

A Browerville firefighter was slightly burned and taken to Long Prairie Hospital in a private vehicle for treatment, the Sheriff's Office said.

Heid said the firefighter suffered from a flash burn and was treated by medical personnel and released.

Paul Walsh -- 612-673-4482

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