Residents were startled by a series of explosions coming from an out building at the Northwood Municipal Airport. The resulting fire sent fumes blown around by winds into Northwood. Law enforcement scrambled to evacuate the entire town because of the seriousness of the smoke. The building on fire was storing fertilizer that contained sulfuric acid.
Sgt. Scott Wright of the Iowa State Patrol said that officers responded quickly because of the health risk to area residents:
Red Cross officials were also sent into the area from as far away as Des Moines to assist displaced residents. Those volunteers were brought to the Kensett Community Center where residents were relocated during the incident. However, residents have been given the all clear to return to their homes.
U. S. 65 was also closed going into Northwood during the fire, however that route has been re-opened to traffic.
The cause of the blaze is still under investigation.