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Explosion, fire reported at Rocla concrete tie plant south of Pueblo

PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- The Pueblo Fire Department was called to the Rocla concrete tie plant due to an explosion and several fires Tuesday morning.

The explosion reportedly happened around 10:30 a.m., according to the Pueblo Fire Department.

At least one injury has been reported from the fire, according to Woody Percival with the Pueblo Fire Department.

"We have been told that there was one party, one of their employees that was transported to a local hospital with unknown injuries," Percival said.

The employee was later flown to a Denver-area hospital for treatment. Their condition is still unknown at this time.

The fire department confirmed to KRDO that the fire was started by an employee who was welding near an oil tank. The tank caught fire, leading to the explosion. The fire was in the warehouse area of the building, and nearby materials and boxes caught fire.

Inside the 12,000 square foot warehouse was more flammable objects. This present a sense of urgency for the fire department.

"I know they have a lot of oils and things like that, which is what is contributing to the fire being so hard to put out. If the fire were to leave the building itself, we are definitely out on the outskirts of town with a lot of dry weeds and open wild land," Percival said.  

Multiple fire agencies responded to the fire in support of Pueblo Fire. One was the rural wild land fire department in Pueblo.

"My first reaction was there was a lot of smoke, high winds today, so thats definitely causing a problem for the firefighters and of course we are kind of out here with a horrible water supply," Interim Fire Chief Michael Furney said.

Howling winds throughout the afternoon made fighting the blaze more difficult for firefighters on scene.

"The fire I understand is in an area that is covered by a roof but does not have walls, so it's kind of an open area so the wind is able to have free reign through that area. It is definitely presents another challenge," Percival said.

Black smoke could be seen in Pueblo. The plant is a few miles south of the town, east of Stem Beach.

Andrew McMillan

Andrew is the Digital Content Director for KRDO.com. Learn more about Andrew here.

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