May 29, 2012 at 9:12 am
SARTELL, Minn. (KNSI) - An Albany man has been identified as the person killed in Monday's explosion and fire at the Verso paper mill in Sartell.
At a news conference at Sartell City Hall Tuesday morning, mill manager Matt Archambeau identified the victim as Jon Maus. Family members say Maus was 50 years old and had been married for 25 years. He had four children.
"At this point in time, we don't know the cause of the incident. But I can tell you that the preliminary reports on damage are that it is very substantial," Archambeau said.
Gov. Mark Dayton was expected to tour the mill and meet with local emergency responders Tuesday afternoon.
Archambeau said four people were injured in the explosion that tore through a storage area at the plant around 11:20 a.m. Monday. All four victims were treated and released from area hospitals Monday. A fifth person reported injured late Monday actually refused treatment, Gartland said.
The fire burned through the night Monday, Sartell Fire Chief Ken Heim said. Large rolls of finished paper product continued to burn Tuesday in an area roughly 250 feet by 400 square feet in size. Containment of the fire remained at 90 percent early Tuesday, Heim said.
An engineer arrived on the scene Monday night to check on the structural integrity of the building. Heim said he won't send any firefighters inside until he's assured it's safe to do so.
The State Fire Marshal was investigating the cause of the fire and explosion. There were earlier media reports that the explosion involved an air compressor in the storage facility, but Heim would not confirm that.
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