Public Safety

Clinton firefighter dies in explosion at ADM plant

CLINTON — One Eastern Iowa firefighter was killed and another was seriously injured when an explosion rocked an ADM plant.

Eric Hosette, 33, died Saturday in the incident at the Archer Daniels Midland plant in Clinton. Adam Cain, 23, was in critical but stable condition Saturday night at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, officials said.

Clinton Fire Chief Mike Brown said the initial fire call came in around 5:45 a.m. Saturday. ADM employees had discovered smoldering material in one of the silo storage bins at the loading facility. ADM spokeswoman Jackie Anderson said the employees immediately contacted the Clinton Fire Department.

Brown said because of the timing of the call, two separate shifts responded to the fire.

“First shift got there and somewhat stabilized the incident,” he said. “And they traded off shifts at 7 in the morning like we do every day. And about 8:45, what we thought was a stabilizing incident, there was an explosion.”

Hosette, a lieutenant who had been with the Clinton Fire Department for 12 years, was taken to Mercy Medical Center in Clinton, but personnel were unable to revive him, Brown said.

Cain, who has been with the Clinton Fire Department for about two years, was flown to Iowa City for treatment of his injuries, Brown said.

“It’s going to be a long process,” Brown said. “The investigation’s going to take a long time. The healing’s going to take a long time.”

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Brown said fire crews were on the scene late into the afternoon Saturday, with assistance from Camanche, Davenport and Fulton, Ill., officials.

Clinton City Administrator Matt Brooke said the explosion happened in the third silo at ADM.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of these brave firefighters,” ADM spokeswoman Anderson said. “They put their lives in danger every day, and it’s hard to express how much we appreciate their selfless help in a time of need. We greatly appreciate the quick response, bravery and dedication of all of the emergency responders (Saturday). We are deeply saddened at the turn of events. We are investigating the cause and assessing the damage to our facility.”

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