No Injuries in Three-Alarm Fire at Domino Sugar Refinery in Arabi
ARABI, La. — More than 100 employees were evacuated when a fire broke out at approximately 4 p.m. Thursday afternoon at the Domino Sugar refinery in Arabi. Black smoke from the fire was visible for miles.
St. Bernard Parish Fire Chief Thomas Stone told a local TV station that the three-alarm fire was limited to two silos stocked with refined sugar.
The fire was extinguished about two hours after it began with assistance from the Valero Refinery Fire Department. Firefighters remained on site to conduct a thermal imaging assessment in the silos and nearby buildings to confirm the site is clear, according to a Domino Sugar spokesperson.
There were no injuries during the fire. Residents nearby were asked to shelter indoors as a precaution.
Food Business News reports that the “loss of a major refinery comes at a time when spot sugar supplies are tight late in the 2019-20 marketing year that ends Sept. 30. Total domestic sugar production (beet and cane) in 2019-20 was down 11% from 2018-19 due to weather-reduced sugarcane production in Louisiana and an early freeze that prevented the harvest of thousands of acres of sugar beets in 2019.”
The publication said it’s not clear how the loss of production from the facility will impact sugar prices, which already had been “firming the past couple of weeks as beet processors have sold about 80% or more of their prospective 2020-21 beet sugar production, and cane refiners had most of their September through December 2020 supply committed and also were well sold for 2021.”