CLINTON — A soy oil fire Wednesday caused an estimated $70,000 in damage to the Clinton County Bio Energy Plant.

Clinton Fire Department Battalion Chief Frederick Roling said firefighters were sent to the plant, located at 5640 44th Ave. S., at 4:04 p.m. for a possible fire on the ground floor of the plant.

The first firefighters on the scene reported heavy black smoke coming from behind the office building and flames were visible on the ground.

The fire was located in the process area, but outside of all the buildings, Roling said.

Soy oil had caught fire in the piping of the process area of the plant, he added.

The employees of the plant were trying to extinguish the fire before the fire department was called, he said. However, Strong winds prevented the employees from getting the fire under control.

Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire in about 20 minutes, Roling said.

No one was injured and the fire remains under investigation.

According to the company’s website, Clinton County Bio Energy is a 10-million gallon per year bio-diesel refinery.

Construction on the facility began in 2005. The first transport of product, the fuel B100, was September 2006.