Fire in chemical storage shed forces evacuation of Iowa town

by Reuters
Thursday, 20 February 2014 18:32 GMT

Feb 20 (Reuters) - A fire in a storage shed for sulfuric acid forced the evacuation of an entire northern Iowa town of about 2,000 people Thursday, officials said.

They said the fire started at about 7.30 a.m. CT (1330 GMT) in the shed at the municipal airport in Northwood. Four people living in the area went to a hospital with respiratory concerns, said Sgt. Scott Bright of the Iowa Highway Patrol.

Bright said the shed stores sulfuric acid and other chemicals used by crop-dusting planes.

Worth County emergency management officials told residents to go to Kensett, Iowa, about six miles south, the county said on its Facebook page.

"I could see the black smoke billowing up," Northwood resident Susan Mega said by telephone from Kensett. She said an odor similar to rotten eggs filled the air. (Reporting By Kevin Murphy in Kansas City, Missouri; Editing by David Bailey and Grant McCool)

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