Cause of fires at REG Geismar, Viesel Fuel under investigation

By Ron Kotrba | April 06, 2015

Last week, Renewable Energy Group’s renewable diesel plant in Geismar, Louisiana, and Viesel Fuel’s biodiesel facility in Stuart, Florida, both suffered devastating fires that are currently under investigation, according to the two companies.

A fire that began on the evening of April 2 at the REG Geismar biorefinery injured two employees, according to REG. The fire was contained within a few hours and completely extinguished at approximately 11 p.m.

“The two injured employees are in fair condition at Baton Rouge General Hospital and our thoughts and prayers go out to them and their families for a speedy recovery,” the company stated in a release. “An assessment and investigation into the cause of the fire and the damage to the facility is ongoing. The biorefinery will remain shut down until such assessment is complete and repairs can be made. We are grateful to all the first responders, other emergency personnel and law enforcement who worked quickly and professionally to ensure the safety of the public, our employees and those at surrounding facilities.”

The cause of a fire that began April 1 at Viesel Fuel’s biodiesel plant in Stuart, Florida, is also being investigated. No injuries were reported.

“First and foremost, we at Viesel Fuel want to thank Martin County Fire Rescue for their swift action, along with all emergency responders who assisted them,” said Viesel Fuel President and CEO Stu Lamb in a statement. “The combination of Fire Rescue’s efforts, our fire suppression system and the quick action by Viesel’s employees according to our safety plan worked. There were no injuries, adjacent businesses were notified immediately and the fire was contained. We greatly appreciate the understanding and support of our commerce park neighbors whose business day was interrupted during the fire and thank those who have reached out to us.”

Lamb said his team plans to work closely with fire officials in the coming days to identify and address the cause of the fire.


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