Skip to main content

A chemical leak at the Jennie-O plant in Barron, Wisconsin, resulted in a brief shelter-in-place Monday morning.

Two employees drove themselves to a nearby hospital to be treated for possible exposure to Anatox and Lysine. One of those employees was on-site when the chemical leak happened, according to the Barron County Sheriff's Office.

The leak of the two chemicals resulted in the emission of a poisonous vapor in the atmosphere of the building. No other injuries were reported.

The leak was first reported to the sheriff's office at 9:27 a.m. in its main plant feed mill area. Emergency responders determined the chemicals accidentally mixed together, putting the toxic fumes into the air.

The company immediately evacuated the facility, police say.

The shelter-in-place was enacted on the north side of the plant, impacting the Barron County Highway Department and the Riverview Terrace Estates. A "precautionary shelter-in-place" was also put in place on the south side of the plant, shutting down a portion of Hwy 8 to LaSalle Avenue, starting at 6th Street and extending to 11th Street. 

The sheriff's office said the road was closed for about an hour and a half.

The sheriff's office said prior to reopening, afternoon weather patterns helped keep the chemical vapor mostly within the company's property. At about 11:30 a.m., it was determined the chemical combination no longer posed any threat, with police lifting the shelter-in-place and reopening a section of the highway.

Officials determined there was no danger to the surrounding area following the incident.

An investigation is ongoing.

Note: The details provided in this story are based on the police’s latest version of events, and may be subject to change.

Next Up

Northland Vapor in Moorhead, Minn.

Northland Vapor calls St. Paul regulators 'overzealous' in lawsuit over THC sales

The small Minnesota business said the lawsuit was "misleading" and "shameful."


Excelsior chocolate shop ransacked by thieves to reopen

Truffle Hill will reopen to the public on Friday.

Company agrees to changes after child workers found in MN meat plants

An investigation found children ages 13-17 working hazardous jobs at the plants.


Drinks can company to lay off almost 100 workers, close St. Paul plant

State authorities were informed of the impending closure.


Suspect in Minneapolis bar killing charged with weapons crime

The suspect has not been charged with murder in the case as of Wednesday.

snow, blowing snow

A monster storm is coming next week: What will happen?

What we know with high confidence at this point is that there will be a monster storm in the central U.S. by the early and middle part of next week.

police lights

Boy safe after kidnapping by non-custodial parent in Mankato

The search prompted the temporary shutdown of I-35 Tuesday night.


11 face charges after being found 'exploring' Fridley sewer system

A 911 caller reported seeing a group removing a manhole cover Monday night.


Man killed by St. Paul police ID'd by family, community demands answers

The man was identified as 24-year-old Howard Johnson.

Screen Shot 2022-12-07 at 7.38.02 AM

Quick shot of snow to impact morning commute in Twin Cities

Snow is moving into the metro Wednesday morning.


Body found in burned out car near Bird Island identified as local farmer

The deceased is a 59-year-old man from rural Bird Island.



14-year-old girl dead, two others seriously injured in high-speed crash

A 16-year-old boy who was driving has been arrested.

Chad Myszka

'Dangerous' suspect who prompted shelter-in-place is located

His alleged actions led to a shelter-in-place late Friday night.

Screen Shot 2021-12-05 at 9.27.07 AM

Couple ending festive lights display after dispute with sheriff over trespassing

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald addressed complaints from over the summer on Facebook Saturday.

Screen Shot 2020-04-21 at 5.51.17 PM

Coronavirus cases confirmed at Jennie-O plant in Willmar

Jennie-O has confirmed the cases at the turkey plant in central Minnesota.

fire, firefighter

Dad and 2 children killed in western Wisconsin house fire

A devastating house fire happened early Thursday morning.

Screen Shot 2022-10-03 at 11.03.12 AM

Man dies after crashing truck into western Wisconsin lake

The victim was unable to make it to shore despite being able to get out of his truck.