Lightning strike causes fire at Grand Island plant

By:  Newsroom

Fire officials say the fire at the JBS meat packing plant Thursday night took more than an hour to control.

However, a JBS spokesperson says it did not cause the plant to shut down. The company says the fire broke out just before 8 p.m. They say lightning hit a tarp over the plant's bio-gas capture system, setting a balloon of methane on fire.  The company says the biogas is used as an alternative fuel in the plant.

The fire, which was accompanied by an explosion because of the gases involved, was visible a miles away.  Most of the fire was contained to the lagoon and grass nearby.  Firefighters say foam was used to extinguish the fire on the lagoon.

JBS says no one was hurt, and there is no bio-hazard threat to the community.