Dairy Fire

A quiet Saturday morning shift at Sinton Dairy became anything but quiet when an explosion shook the plant at about 9:30.

Witnesses, like John Smock, recalled what they saw.

" ... looked over and there was flames and heavy black smoke.
It was so heavy black over there you couldn't even see those tower tanks."

A fire caused by the explosion was put out within minutes but, according to operations manager Bill Keating, the blast took out an entire wall of a maintenance room.

"This is an air compressor room where we generated air for the different equipment in the facility."

Fire investigators believe an oil line in the air compressor room failed, filling the room with oil vapor. The vapor, then, ignited and caused the explosion.

Lieutenant Steve Watz of the Colorado Springs Fire Department says 2 employees suffered minor injuries.

"One of the victims suffered contusions to the chest when something ... a large object ... a door or something ... hit him in the chest.
So, it was a fairly significant explosion."

Fire crews feared a dangerous cloud of amonia might have been released during the explosion. That's because chunks of debris flew as far as 30 feet, hitting an amonia tank. But fire officials say little or no amonia escaped.

Fire officials estimate the dairy sustained a million dollars in damage.