Wellington Fire & EMS responded to a structure fire with flames reported on top of Scoular’s grain elevator. Upon arrival two silos 154 feet tall and with one containing approximately 430,000 bushels of wheat and the other approximately 400,000 bushels of soybeans had flames on top of the silos, from grain transfer equipment and from vents at the top of the silos. After three-and-a-half hours of work the fire was extinguished. During extinguishment chunks of cement began falling from the silos and grain transfer equipment also fell.
Currently, the cause of the fire is unknown.
“We became aware earlier today of a report of a fire at The Scoular Co.'s Wellington, Kansas facility,” the company said on Nov. 4. “The safety and security of our employees is our No. 1 priority. The facility was closed, and no employees were on site at the time of the report of the fire. We immediately dispatched and now have a cross-functional team on location managing the response to the issue, working in partnership with the responding fire departments and other county resources whose support Scoular greatly appreciates.”
Wellington Fire & EMS noted that Scoular determined the best course of removing smoldering grain was to bring in a salvage company with cranes to remove the top several feet of the silos until the smoldering grain was completely removed.
“The grain will continue to smolder and cause an odor and visible smoke until the salvage operations are completed,” Wellington Fire & EMS said. “There was always a chance of explosion during this incident but due to silos being full of grain the explosion chances were diminished. Scoular personnel will monitor this event throughout.”
According to the 2017 Grain & Milling Annual, the Wellington facility has storage capacity of 3.377 million bushels with the receiving and loading by rail and truck. It utilizes BNSF for grain transportation via rail.
In North America, Scoular has a total licensed grain storage capacity of 120.100 million bushels with a total of 85 grain storage facilities.
“We will continue to be focused on ensuring the safety of our employees and those on site,” Scoular said. “We will provide updates to our employees, customers, and other business partners in the near term as we continue to respond to this incident.”
Scoular manages supply chain risk for customers in growing segments of food, feed and renewable fuel markets. From more than 120 locations, 1,200 Scoular employees tailor risk-management solutions for their customers by buying, selling, storing, and transporting grain and ingredients. This is accomplished using a network of owned, managed and third-party facilities coupled with substantial truck, rail, barge, and container freight commitments.