NEW ULM, Minn. (AP) -- An intense fire consumed half of the roof of the Associated Milk Producers Inc. butter packaging plant on Wednesday night, and sent melted butter flowing out of the facility.
There were no immediate reports of injuries.
The plant was holding an estimated 3 million pounds of butter at the time of the fire. Bill Swan, plant manager, said the total value of the damage won't be known until company officials can inspect the building, according to a report in Thursday's edition of The Journal of New Ulm.
Officials expressed concern that the melted butter would interfere with the railroad tracks bordering the plant's east end.
Firefighters from New Ulm, Sleepy Eye, Courtland and Lafayette were still fighting the blaze as of 9:45 p.m.
Officials were investigating the fire's cause.
A plant employee discovered the fire in a utility area around 6 p.m. The 30 workers in the butter packaging plant were evacuated safely and sent home.
The plant, which has stood in New Ulm since 1970, employs 180 people, making it one of New Ulm's largest employers. It is the only American Milk Producers facility that packages butter.