Update, 8:15 a.m. Friday:
Two people injured in the fire are listed in fair condition, according to a statement from Baton Rouge General's Mid City campus, which has a special burn center to treat patients.
Two people were hurt, one with minor injuries and the other with moderate injuries, in a fire Thursday night at the Renewable Energy Group bio-fuels plant off La. 30 in Geismar.
Lt. J.B. Slaton, a spokesman for Louisiana State Police, said a seal on a hydraulic pump went out and sparked the fire around 7 p.m., burning the diesel fuel produced at the plant.
Slaton said that’s why people could see black smoke emitted from the plant Thursday evening.
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The fire was extinguished shortly after 8 p.m.
Slaton said there was no off-site impact from the fire and no threat to the public.
He said during a news conference at 9:30 p.m. Thursday that firefighters were still spraying water on the section of the plant that had caught fire, in order to cool it down.
He said crews were also checking gauges and other equipment to determine when it might be safe to enter the part of the plant that burned.
“It could take all night. It could a couple of hours, but safety’s the main thing, even for our guys that are going inside to respond,” Slaton said.
The two people who were injured were near where the fire occurred, Slaton said. They were taken to a local hospital for treatment, said Allison Hudson, an Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman.
It’s not clear whether the workers at the scene of the fire were REG employees or contract workers, Slaton said. The plant was evacuated and everyone has been accounted for.
No other nearby plants were evacuated, he said.
Roadblocks were briefly set up at the facility entrance on La. 30 and near the BASF plant.
The REG site is inside a complex of other industrial plants near the Lion Copolymer plant. The REG plant converts feedstocks such as animal fat, inedible corn oil, used cooking oil and vegetable oils into renewable fuel.
The Geismar facility also produces renewable naphtha and liquefied petroleum gas.
REG acquired the Geismar site from Dynamic Fuels in June 2014, beginning its operations there in November of that year.
Follow David J. Mitchell on Twitter, @NewsieDave.