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DECATUR — Fire crews were called to Archer Daniels Midland Co.'s East Plant in Decatur early Sunday to put out flames smoldering in a partially dismantled metal tank.

Battalion Chief Jim Ohl said the call came in at 6:44 a.m. He estimated sections of the tank measured 40 feet in length. “They (ADM employees) were working on the fire, applying some water to it, but they weren’t making much headway so I think that’s why they probably called for us,” added Ohl.

He said firefighters used an aerial ladder truck to give better access to the fire, which he believes was concentrated in some kind of tank residue like corn waste.

“We were told the last they were working on it was Friday and so something was probably smoldering in there for a few days,” Ohl said. “It was a pretty heavy smolder and we flowed a bunch of water in there and extinguished it. We were out there a couple of hours. ”

ADM spokeswoman Jackie Anderson confirmed the incident in a statement, describing it as a small fire in a tank at the company's corn processing plant. 

"Employees called the local fire department for assistance, and the fire was quickly extinguished," she said. "There were no injuries or damage to the plant. We are investigating the cause."

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Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid

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