3 blocks evacuated
A flash fire in Storm Lake Sunday afternoon caused a three-block area to be evacuated around the Super Wash car wash, although the fumes that caused the concern were later found to be non-toxic.
On Sunday at approximately 5:17 p.m., the Storm Lake Fire Department responded to Super Wash at 325 East Milwaukee Ave. Upon arrival, firefighters observed heavy white smoke coming out of two wash bays on the east side of the complex.
It was determined that the smoke was a result of a chemical reaction that occurred when persons were mixing soapy water with ash residue from a grain fumigant. The residue had been transported to the car wash by employees of ECOLAB who were working at Monsanto Plant on the east side of Storm Lake.
As soapy water mixed with the ash residue, a flash fire ignited, spewing heavy smoke.
Due to concerns over the toxicity of the substance and its fumes, firefighters along with the Storm Lake Police Department closed off a three-block area. Occupants of South Windsor Drive were evacuated to the Storm Lake police and fire stations. The Taco Johns restaurant was evacuated, with employees placed in the lobby of the police station.