A four-alarm fire broke out at a Blue Diamond Growers facility in downtown Sacramento on Monday, causing significant damage and forcing the evacuation of about 250 workers. According to the Sacramento Fire Department’s initial investigation, the fire at the almond processing facility was likely caused by industrial heating processes used at the plant.
“Blue Diamond continues to cooperate fully with the fire investigation team. The two Blue Diamond employees who were sent to a local hospital last night for further assessment were released,” the company said in a statement. “We are still working to assess the damage to the facility and the main production area will remain down until the clean-up is complete and it is deemed safe to resume operations.”
More than 100 firefighters with the Sacramento Fire Department, West Sacramento Fire Department, Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District as well as other outside agencies responded to the fire at the Blue Diamond Growers facility, which was reported to be contained approximately an hour after it began. Estimates on the total extent of the damage caused by the fire or what kind of financial loss the company may be facing have not yet been made available. “Blue Diamond extends its deepest appreciation for the quick response of the first responders who were on the scene last night and quickly contained the situation. Ensuring the safety of our employees remains the highest priority at all our operations,” said the company.
As a nonprofit, grower-owned cooperative Blue Diamond Growers has grown in the world’s leading almond marketer and processor. Altogether, California is responsible for processing about 80 percent of the worlds almond supply. Blue Diamond works with over 3,000 almond growers throughout the state. There is some speculation as to whether the fire will have any impact on the California almond industry as a whole.