Polaris, Indian Motorcycles, Spirit Lake

One worker sustained minor injuries in an explosion and fire Monday night in the plant's paint-mixing facility at the Polaris Industries plant in Spirit Lake, Iowa, shown Tuesday. The plant assembles Indian Motorcycles. 

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa -- A worker at the Polaris Industries motorcycle manufacturing plant in Spirit Lake was injured late Monday in a small explosion and fire at the facility.

Authorities were notified of the fire at about 9:30 p.m. at the plant at 1900 Highway 71. When firefighters arrived, the building had been evacuated, and firefighters extinguished the fire.

Spirit Lake Community Fire Department Chief Patrick Daly said the injured worker was transported to Lakes Regional Healthcare with minor injuries. No firefighters were hurt.

Daly said the explosion occurred in the plant's paint-mixing facility known as the "paint kitchen." The Iowa Department of Natural Resources was called to the scene to assist in cleanup of water and paint that flowed out of the building while the fire was being extinguished.

Fire investigators on Tuesday were waiting for paint cleanup to be completed before entering the building to determine the cause of the fire, Daly said.

"We're just kind of staying out of there until they get the paint taken care of," Daly said.

A Polaris spokeswoman said damage to the plant was minimal, and operations have resumed.

One of the largest employers in the Iowa Great Lakes region with about 650 workers, Polaris' Spirit Lake plant manufactures Indian Motorcycles.

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