Darigold fire in Caldwell, Idaho

Firefighters work to extinguish a blaze Oct. 12 at the Darigold plant in Caldwell, Idaho.

CALDWELL, Idaho (AP) — It took fire crews from several cities several hours to extinguish a large fire at the Darigold processing plant in downtown Caldwell, Idaho.

The fire was reported just after 2:30 p.m. Oct. 12, according to Canyon County, Idaho, Dispatch.

Caldwell Fire Marshal Alan Perry told the Idaho Press that the blaze was controlled around 5 p.m. Tuesday and that about 80 employees were evacuated.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Several agencies responded including fire crews from Nampa, Caldwell and Parma. Workers with the Idaho Power utility company were also at the scene.

“The plant itself produces dried milk,” Caldwell Fire Department Chief Steve Donahue said. “So there are dust products and also containers and things like that.”

Darigold operates 11 processing facilities in the Northwest. It is one of Caldwell’s largest employers, according to the city’s website.

Darigold Communications Director Chris Arnold told the Capital Press the plant employs about 120 people.

The company said in a statement that it is grateful to local fire personnel “and for the prompt actions of our employees, and that none were injured in the incident.”

The co-op is working to re-route dairy farmers’ milk to other facilities and “exploring other ways we can support our members until the plant reopens.”

The plant will remain closed while the cause is investigated and the damage repaired. Darigold said employees will be offered temporary assignments at other nearby facilities.

In Idaho, the company also operates ingredient plants in Boise and Jerome.

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