At around 12:15 a.m., a fire broke out in an insulated tank in a vegetable oil and animal fat refining and packaging plant. A technician raised the alert upon noticing the flames. At around 12:30 a.m., the employees were able to put out the fire with a hose reel and hose supplied from a mobile tank. Upon arriving at the site, the firefighters detected hot spots which led them to remove the insulation from the tank and spray down the mineral wool insulation. The tank was drained and cooled for several hours; the rescue services were able to leave the scene of the accident at around 5 a.m.
The extinguishing water was recovered in a retention basin. Repairs were estimated at less than 100,000 euros and activity at the site was not impacted.
The black steel tank, measuring 3 m in diameter and 12 m tall (with an estimated volume of 90 m³), was built in 1990. It contained palm and copra fatty acids that had to be heated to 55 °C to prevent solidifying. The tank was heated via a steam coil.
On Friday, 06/02, a leak was reported, and the tank was drained. Over the weekend, the tank was cleaned with water and sodium hydroxide to remove the fatty product residues. On the following Monday, 09/02, the tank was filled with water and heated in an attempt to locate the leak. On Monday evening, technicians detected a burning smell but were unable to determine its origin. The fire broke out at around 12:15 a.m.
Upon removing the insulation, they were able to locate the leak in the upper part of the tank. Corrosion may have been the cause. The greasy product had soaked into the insulation and the hot water caused the temperature of the oil and the insulation to reach 90 °C causing air circulation, which led to the oil igniting.