Okeelanta Sugar Mill: Fire crews battled blaze at South Bay sugar mill

Mill evacuated

SOUTH BAY, Fla. - Investigators will be back at the Okeelanta Sugar Mill in South Bay Friday morning after a fire that started in one of the mill's oil turbines.

Arriving crews reported flames shooting more than 40 feet in the air and quickly turned off the oil supply to the turbine on fire, said Capt. Albert Borroto, spokesman for Palm Beach County Fire Rescue.

Fire investigators will inspect the structure on Friday to check for any hazardous materials at the mill.

"We won't know what the damage is until morning," Borroto said.

Several dozen crews battled the fire while protecting the main building from the flames, according to Borroto.

"Firefighters tried to do a defensive attack on the fire by stopping the main building from burning," Borroto said.

A firefighter was injured and was taken to a local hospital. He is expected to be OK, Borroto said.

It is unclear whether the plant will be able to operate to its full capacity when the day begins on Friday.

The fire, which started around 8:15 p.m. at a power plant that was connected to a sugar mil, was brought under control around 11 p.m..

It's unclear how many people had to be evacuated.

Reporter Evan Axelbank contributed to this story.


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