Climax officials investigating Monday lab fire


FORT MADISON – The first that broke out at a Climax Molybdenum lab on Monday afternoon is still under investigation, according to company officials.

Eric Kinneberg, director of external communications for Freeport McMoRan, the parent company for Climax, issued a single statement on the fire Tuesday evening.

“A fire broke out in the Climax Ft. Madison lab at approximately 2:20 p.m. yesterday.  The Ft. Madison Fire Department and Montrose Fire Department responded to the fire, which was extinguished at approximately 3:00 p.m. the same day. No injuries were sustained.  The cause of the fire is under investigation,” Kinneberg wrote in an email to Pen City Current.

Fort Madison Fire Chief Joey Herren said the fire appeared to have broken out in a lab and got into the ventilation hood and up near the roof.

“There was fire in the lab and it got up into the hoods near the roof of the building,” Herren said. “We had to ventilate the roof to get at the vent hoods. All we had was a basic structure fire, nothing as far as hazardous materials.”

An “all call” for Fort Madison firefighters was put out at about 2:30 and a call was also put out for mutual aid from the Montrose Fire Department.

“We were trying to get ahead of it as fast as we could,” Herren said, and then referred all other comments to company officials.

Lee County EMS and the Lee County Sheriff assisted at the scene.

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