BALTIMORE — The historic Domino Sugar refinery in Baltimore is temporarily closed after a fire that started in a storage shed spread to the refinery on April 20.
A fire of yet unknown origin broke out in the raw sugar shortage shed behind the refinery at 1100 Key Highway East. Firefighters were called around 3:00 Eastern Time. Flames traveled from the shed midway into the refinery via a conveyor belt, according to The Baltimore Sun. Fire fighters were initially unable to enter the shed due to the intensity of the flames, the Baltimore City Fire Department said. The shed became fully engulfed and partially collapsed.
“A fire in the raw sugar shed of the Baltimore refinery was reported at approximately 3 p.m. on Tuesday,” Domino parent company American Sugar Refining Inc., said. “The Baltimore City Fire Department was immediately contacted, and the refinery was evacuated. All employees are accounted for and no injuries occurred. The refinery is currently not operating, and the fire department remains on the scene. The cause of the fire is under investigation.”
Domino’s Baltimore refinery is a major supplier of sugar to the Northeast.
The 99-year-old refinery employs 510 full-time workers and processes about 6.5 million lbs of raw cane sugar daily. Domino was in the midst of replacing the iconic rooftop Domino Sugars neon sign with an LED replica that was set to be unveiled July 4, according to local reports.
In November 2007 an explosion and fire forced the Baltimore plant to shut down for about a week. That explosion was said to have been caused by a buildup of sugar dust and resulted in the total loss of the powdered sugar mill.
Domino’s sugar refinery in Chalmette, La., was briefly closed last summer after a fire broke out in storage silos on Aug. 27 as the plant was brought back online after operations were halted as a precaution ahead of Hurricane Laura.
In addition to Domino Sugar, American Sugar Refining (ASR Group) companies include C&H Sugar, Redpath Sugar (Canada), Tate & Lyle Sugars (UK), Sidul Acucares (Portugal), Belize Sugar Industries, Ingenio San Nicolas (Mexico), SRB (Italy) and Tellus Products.