Fairfield chief: Fire at Koch Foods could have been ‘catastrophic’

A small fire broke out in a room used for Koch Foods’ deep frying process, and while the Fairfield fire chief said minimal damage was caused, it could have been worse.

Emergency crews were dispatched around 4 p.m. today for a reported fire at the food manufacturer at 4100 Port Union Road.

Fairfield Fire Chief Don Bennett said “we lucked out” when the fire started and was contained to the room with two giant vessels of hot oil.

The chief said the mechanics in one of the vessels overheated and said “there was a sufficient amount of fire,” which did catch some of the other oils in the room on fire.

The building’s sprinkler system helped to suppress the fire.

Each of the giant vessels had about 1,000 gallons of oil each, according to Bennett.

“The potential was there for something catastrophic,” he said.

The plant was evacuated and business is resuming. The room where the fire broke out happened to be finished with production for the day, and Bennett said that portion of Koch Foods operation is expected to be fully functional tomorrow.

“There was no loss of business,” he said.

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