Welding sparked Hillshire inferno

Estimated damage set at $30 million

The fire at the Hillshire Brands Turkey Processing Plant on Saturday, March 22 was determined to be accidental and started in an east wall in the dark meat room following a welding operation, according to an investigation by the Iowa Fire Marshal in conjunction with the Storm Lake Fire Department.

Property damage will exceed $30 million, authorities said.

The company hopes to reopen in a few months and will pay employees for 40 hours of work a week while the plant remains closed after a fire caused part of the roof to collapse.

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