Peanuts continue to burn in Vienna warehouse fire - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Peanuts continue to burn in Vienna warehouse fire

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June 22, 2008

Vienna -- Sunday makes day five for the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department who have been fighting a warehouse fire at Golden Peanut on Old Cordele Road.

The fire started when chemicals used to fumigate mixed with moisture in the building. And now firefighters are doing what they can to keep the flames contained. Bulldozers move hundreds of pounds of peanuts from the smokey warehouse.

"Upon our arrival several thousand tons of peanuts were involved in a chemical reaction with the peanut company here that was trying to fumigate. And that actually started the fire inside of the peanut bins," said Vienna Volunteer Fire Lieutenant, Kevin McNeese.

The flames first ignited Wednesday morning and continues to burn. "It's still on fire. We have it contained to the warehouse. We are basically extinguishing as it comes out of the building and as it flames up inside of the building," said McNeese.

Crews from Golden Peanut along with work details from area correctional institutes have been working with the fire department to keep the damage minimal. "The best strategy is to get everything out of the warehouse and douse it with water," said McNeese.

But these flames will burn away a portion of the 2007 peanut crop profits. "Based on the manpower and crews that they have hired to move this product in and out of this warehouse. It's going to be a costly investment," said McNeese.

This ongoing battle has also taken its toll on those working the scene. "We are rotating every eight hours right now with a four man crew. This seems to be taking care of our needs for right now," said McNeese.

"This is a pretty severe incident. We have responded to calls like these with cotton seeds, peanuts and so forth. Nothing to this magnitude." But they will continue to do what they can to keep this warehouse from going up in smoke.

Two-thirds of the warehouse has been emptied. Firefighters hope to have this fire fully extinguished in the next day or two. Fortunately, no one has been hurt so far.

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