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Northwood Returns To Normal After Fire, Evacuation

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Residents of a small northern Iowa city are returning to normal life following a fire at a local airport that sent a plume of smoke over the area.

The evacuation Thursday for the city of Northwood, located about 130 miles north of Des Moines, lasted several hours. Many of the city's 2,000 or so residents either took cover in nearby towns or were bused to an evacuation center about six miles away.

Residents were allowed back in around 3:30 p.m. Thursday, as snowplows cleared roads so the caravan of cars and buses could return.

The fertilizer fire inside a building owned by Northwood Ag Products caused concern over chemicals in the air. Tests later cleared the way for residents to return before heavy snow hit the area.

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