Methane fire at pork plant unintentional, officials say

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MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a fire that damaged the JBS pork plant in Marshalltown was unintentional.

No injuries have been reported from the Jan. 23 fire, which took firefighters about three hours to extinguish.

Authorities say staffers had ignited a pressure relief torch to burn off excess gas. Some debris in the area ignited as well, and embers dropped and ignited gas venting around a manhole cover. The flames eventually reached gas in the methane lagoon. Damage was estimated at $500,000.