OTTUMWA, Iowa – Local officials say a fire at the Cargill Meat Solutions plant in Ottumwa was started when welders were using blow torches to remove old equipment on the morning of June 16. Firefighters quickly responded to the blaze and crews had the fire out and left the facility two hours later.

The plant had completely redone the rendering operation area and welders were cutting away older equipment when the fire started.

“The fire started when some grease build-up in piping caught on fire,” Cargill spokesman Mike Martin told “The plant management actually met with the fire chief a few months ago to outline the project and make certain a contingency plan would be in place for just this type of incident. There were no injuries and the fire department responded quickly. Randy Zorn's [plant manager] team does a great job with relationships in the community. There was minor damage and no shutdowns.”