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Fire damages, but does not destroy potato processing plant Idaho Supreme Potatoes

Smoke from the fire billows from the Idaho Supreme potato processing plant in Firth the morning of September 5, 2016
(Courtesy: Bingham County Sheriff's Office)

A potato processing plant in Firth, Idaho was damaged by fire last week.

Idaho Supreme Potatoes, Inc. - a manufacturer of dehydrated potato flakes - sustained some significant damage, but the building is not considered a total loss.

Firth Fire Chief Bruce Anthony says the fire at Idaho Supreme destroyed a parts room and some upstairs office spaces, and it damaged a nearby repair shop; however, the area where potatoes are processed only sustained smoke damage.

“The (damaged) rooms were in the middle of the building and they had built firewalls on each side of the rooms. They did their job.” Anthony said, adding that the flames didn’t spread further. “The firemen worked really hard to be able to control it and it was limited to one section.”

Anthony said they are still investigating the cause of the fire, and he was not sure of the estimated value of the damage.

Anthony said the plant had been shut down for a few weeks and was just getting ready to start processing potatoes when the fire started. He says local farmers, businesses and workers will likely be affected by the fire at the plant, but he expects Idaho Supreme officials will work quickly to restore operations.

The fire started around 5:30 a.m. Sept. 5, and firefighters from Firth, Shelley, Blackfoot, Ammon, Ucon, Idaho National Laboratory, Fort Hall and Bonneville County assisted at the scene.

Firefighters were able to get the main fire controlled, but it was initially too dangerous for them to go in and put out hot spots because of collapsed materials, Anthony said. They stayed on scene to control any flames until Tuesday, when they were finally able to go in and make sure the fire was completely out.