Fertilizer fire forces evacuation of city in Iowa

BARBARA RODRIGUEZ
Associated Press
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In this image from video provided by KIMT-TV smoke rises from a fire in Northwood, Iowa, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014. Authorities say an evacuation order is in place for Northwood due to a fire at a fertilizer plant at Northwood Municipal Airport. No one is reported injured. (AP Photo/KIMT-TV, Levi Ismail)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have evacuated residents of a small northern Iowa city as firefighters battle a fertilizer fire at the local airport.

The Iowa State Patrol says an evacuation order was issued in Northwood after a fire broke out Thursday morning in a storage-like building that contained fertilizer at Northwood Municipal Airport.

Officials say a plume of smoke hangs over the city, and the evacuation is necessary because of chemicals inside the building, as well as combustion residue from the fire.

Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa in nearby Mason City says four people have sought treatment. Their conditions have not been released.

Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Scott Bright says residents are not allowed back into the city of about 2,000 people.