An early morning fire damaged the John Deere Engine Works plant in Waterloo on Friday (January 19, 2018).

Firefighters were called to the facility at 3801 W. Ridgeway Ave. just before 6 AM., when smoke and flames were spotted near the roof of the building. Battalion Chief Mike Moore of Waterloo Fire Rescue said the blaze started near a boiler ventilation stack.

"They had three boilers, one of which had a stack that went through the roof," Moore explained. "In past years, they had added another roof layer and they used wood to surround that stack. Over the years, that stack dried up and caught fire."

About 600 people are employed at the John Deere Engine Works. The plant was evacuated, but no one was hurt.

Moore said the smoldering fire created a lot of smoke that filled the plant. Once firefighters extinguished the blaze, John Deere's ventilation system helped clear the smoke from the facility.

According to Moore, the fire was contained to the plant's roof.

Fire crews were at the scene for about 90 minutes, but Moore said employees were allowed to return to work about an hour after the fire broke out.