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No one injured in explosion at Rosemount's Endres Processing

An explosion and fire late Tuesday night had Rosemount's Endres Processing working with a limited capacity Wednesday.

Nobody was injured in the accident.

Rosemount firefighters were called at 11 p.m. Feb. 12 to a report of an explosion at the east Rosemount plant, which processes bakery goods and other food waste into a supplement for animal feed.

"Some people in the vicinity -- police officers -- said there was an amazing display in the sky with the fireball that went into the air," Rosemount fire chief Scott Aker said.

The fire was contained to the ductwork at Endres, which made it difficult for firefighters to get access. It took four hours for firefighters to extinguish the flames and the last firefighter didn't leave Endres until 4:30 a.m.

The explosion was strong enough to knock some overhead garage doors off their tracks, but damage was mostly contained to equipment at the plant. Aker said some grain product was expelled out a chimney and caused minor damage on the plant's roof.

Rosemount fire marshal George Lundy is still investigating the cause of the explosion.

"(Endres works with) a grain-type material," Aker said. "What we've found out over the years with experience and research, it's not as explosive as grain but it can be so if it was overdried or overheated. It could ignite or explode like a grain bin. That's two areas the fire marshal will be looking at."

Endres spokesperson Bryan Bergquist blamed an overpressure in the plant's equipment for the explosion but did not have a full understanding Wednesday morning of what had happened.

"We don't have all the details yet," Bergquist said. "We are trying to assess what fully happened before we start our system up. We're trying to assess the damage."

This isn't the first time Endres has had problems with explosions and fires. A 2000 explosion killed one employee and destroyed much of the plant. In 2002 Endres paid $33,000 in fines for violations related to the explosion.

In May of 2001 a fire in an Endres storage bin caused a smaller explosion that injured Rosemount firefighter James Voelker. In October of that year the plant had three fires in one week, including one that caused an explosion that injured an Endres employee.

In November of 2006 Endres employee Juan Gregorio Perez Carrasco drown in animal feed while trying to repair an auger at the plant.

Filling in

Firefighters from Apple Valley were on duty at the Rosemount Fire Department while local firefighters were at Endres. They had to respond to one fire alarm set off by a broken pipe in a fire suppression system. Aker said Rosemount firefighters have dealt with five or six such calls in recent weeks because of cold weather.