Chemical Fire Explosion Destroys Businesses, Injures Worker

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SAYLOR TOWNSHIP, Iowa– Monday’s explosion at an industrial building in Saylor Township sent one man to the hospital. Officials are not releasing his name or condition, but witnesses on scene say he suffered severe burns.

“His clothes were blown up and you could just tell he was pretty burned up,” said Joel McDowell at Central Iowa Dirtworks.

Eight metro fire departments were called to 2123 NE 46th Ave just after 3 PM Monday. Fire officials say the chemical fire created a situation that made it too dangerous for them to enter the building.

“We knew we were dealing with chemicals based on the smoke conditions and the building itself so right away we went to a defensive operation,” said Ankeny Deputy Fire Chief Robert Chiappano.

The fire destroyed three businesses. For one of them, it’s an all too familiar scene. The Body Parts Store burned in June and this was only a temporary location for the business while the owners rebuilt. The building was also home to Dee Zee Outlet and United Classic Cars.

Investigators believe the fire began when a worker was transferring some kind of chemicals. They are still investigating and will release their official findings later this week.

Officials put the damage to the building at $1 million. The lost equipment and classic cars will add to that total.

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