A boiler explosion at a potato chip plant south of Hermiston sparked a dramatic fire Tuesday afternoon.
The Tri-City Herald reports Umatilla County Fire District 1 and the Umatilla County Sheriff's Office were called to the Shearer's Foods plant just before 1 p.m. after employees called 911 to report an explosion.
On Tuesday, February 22, 2022 at 12:51 p.m. Umatilla County Fire District #1 responded to an explosion at Shearer’s Foods, one of the largest potato chip plants in the area. The explosion was caused from a portable boiler fueled by natural gas. pic.twitter.com/70dyxpnVfU— Umatilla County Fire District #1 (@firedistrictone) February 23, 2022
Good Shepherd Medical Center reported that seven people came to the hospital from Shearer’s Foods. None of the injuries were reported as serious.
The plant supplies much of the Western U.S. with potato and corn chips.
When it’s operating at full capacity, the plant employs up to 400 people, said Hermiston City Manager Byron Smith.
“This is the largest fire our District has seen in the last decade,” Umatilla County Fire District 1 tweeted Tuesday. About 60 firefighters responded to assist at the scene.