Warden residents return home after potato plant fire forces evacuations

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Moses Lake Firefighters photo

The Grant County town of Warden was evacuated Thursday night after fears a raging fire at the Washington Potato plant would cause an ammonia tank to explode.

The Level 3 evacuation order was lifted at 12:45 Friday morning when the Grant County Sheriff’s Office said it was believed the ammonia had vented.

Fire crews had to briefly pull back because of the ammonia tank concerns.

The fire was reported under control by 7:30 a.m. this morning with the plant reportedly destroyed.

The Grant County Sheriff’s Office says there were no known injuries.

The fire broke out about 5:30 Thursday evening in the plant’s dehydrator, the sheriff’s office said. Numerous Grant and Adams county fire crews responded.

The Washington State Patrol closed Highway 170 leading into Warden after the evacuation was ordered and the Grant County PUD shut off power to the area about 11:40 Friday night.

The highway has since reopened and the PUD reported all power has been restored by 7 a.m.

The Red Cross offered shelter assistance during the evacuation. Level 3 evacuation means get out now.