Domino Sugar Refinery in Arabi catches fire; at least 300 employees evacuated

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    The Domino Sugar Refinery in Arabi caught fire and caused 300 employees to evacuate the facility on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. (Photo/David Grunfeld, NOLA.com)

    The Domino Sugar Refinery in Arabi caught fire and caused 300 employees to evacuate the facility on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. (Photo/David Grunfeld, NOLA.com)

    The Domino Sugar Refinery in Arabi caught fire and caused 300 employees to evacuate the facility on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. (Photo/David Grunfeld, NOLA.com)

    The Domino Sugar Refinery in Arabi caught fire and caused 300 employees to evacuate the facility on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. (Photo/David Grunfeld, NOLA.com)

    A silo at the century-old Domino Sugar Refinery in Arabi caught fire Thursday afternoon, sending plumes of thick smoke into the sky and prompting St. Bernard Parish authorities to advise nearby residents to shelter in place.

    Update: The shelter-in-place order for residents near the sugar refinery was called off shortly after 6 p.m.

    The 3-alarm fire started in a silo at the factory, but the cause was still unknown as of 5:30 p.m. A Domino spokesperson had no immediate comment, but said she was working to gather facts.

    At least 300 employees were in the building at the start of the fire but were safely evacuated and accounted for, St. Bernard Parish President Guy McInnis said. 

    St. Bernard Parish officials asking residents to shelter in place as a fire is burning at the Domino refinery in Arabi.

    McInnis issued a shelter-in-place order out of an abundance of caution but said the neighborhood surrounding the sugar refinery was safe. St. Bernard Parish Sheriff Jimmy Pohlmann said the Aycock Barn was open to residents who lived south of St. Claude Avenue until the fire was under control. 

    The refinery in Arabi has been in operation since 1909. The facility has employed as many as 400 workers in recent years and processes much of the raw sugar produced by the Louisiana’s sugar cane farmers.

    In 2012, Domino celebrated being the first domestic sugar refinery to surpass one million tons of production in a single year.

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    SOURCE: https://www.w24news.com

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