Killed Clinton firefighter identified after ADM blast

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CLINTON, Iowa (KCRG) -- Authorities have identified the Clinton firefighter killed following an explosion at an ADM facility, Saturday morning.

In a news conference, Fire Chief Mike Brown said Lt. Eric Hosette, 33, was severely injured after an explosion rocked the property on 1811 South 4th Street. Hosette was taken to Mercy Medical where medical crews tried to revive him but were unsuccessful.

"Had been on our department for 12 years," Brown said, holding back tears at the news conference. "A fine man with a wife and daughter."

Brown said the initial call was for a fire a discovered in the silo storage bins at the loading facility, around 5:45 a.m. The department's first-shift team stabilized the flames and handed the scene off to the second-shift crew around 7:00 a.m. The explosion came nearly two hours later at 8:45 a.m.

Brown said Adam Cain, another of the department's firefighters, was injured by the blast and taken to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for treatment.

"He was flown to Iowa City-- was out there this afternoon with his family," the fire chief said. "He is very critical, but he is stable at this time."

In a statement, ADM, a global food processing and commodities trading company, said it was sending thoughts and prayers to the families of the brave firefighters.

“They put their lives in danger every day, and it's hard to express how much we appreciate their selfless help in a time of need," read the statement. "We greatly appreciate the quick response, bravery and dedication of all of the emergency responders today. We are deeply saddened at the turn of events.”

The cause of the fire and subsequent explosion are still under investigation. City Administrator Matt Brooke said he couldn't go into much further detail, but acknowledged the company would be working with authorities to determine what went wrong at the Clinton facility.

Condolences have started pouring in from across Iowa and beyond for the two firefighters involved in the incident.

Cedar Rapids Fire tweeted that the department's thoughts and prayers would be with their colleagues in Clinton as well as the family of the two men.

"These are just two of Clinton’s bravest who are heroes to the citizens of Clinton and firefighters throughout Iowa," the post read.


Rock Island firefighters posted a similar message to social media.

"Please pray for the members of the Clinton Fire Department and their families," said the Rock Island officials in the post. "They have lost one of the own while fighting a fire this morning."


An image of the Clinton Terminal from ADM's webpage. The company describes the facility as being capable of bulk material handling, housing a dry bulk barge dock, plus ground and covered storage. (Courtesy: ADM)