Fertilizer fire forces evacuation of Iowa city

In this image from video provided by KIMT-TV smoke rises from a fire in Northwood, Iowa, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014. Authorities say an evacuation order is in place for Northwood due to a fire at a fertilizer plant at Northwood Municipal Airport. No one is reported injured. (AP Photo/KIMT-TV, Levi Ismail)
In this image from video provided by KIMT-TV smoke rises from a fire in Northwood, Iowa, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014. Authorities say an evacuation order is in place for Northwood due to a fire at a fertilizer plant at Northwood Municipal Airport. No one is reported injured. (AP Photo/KIMT-TV, Levi Ismail)

NORTHWOOD, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have evacuated residents of a small northern Iowa city as firefighters battle a fertilizer fire at the local airport.

The Worth County Sheriff’s Office says an evacuation order was issued in Northwood after a fire broke out Thursday morning in a building that contained fertilizer at Northwood Municipal Airport.

The Iowa State Patrol says a plume of smoke hangs over the city, and the evacuation is necessary because the fertilizer contains sulfuric acid.

Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa in nearby Mason City says four people have sought treatment. Their conditions have not been released. Sulfuric acid can cause vomiting and respiratory problems.

Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Scott Bright says residents are not allowed back into the city of about 2,000 people.

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