Crews respond to fire at ConAgra plant - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Fire shuts down peanut butter plant

(Source: Sylvester Local) (Source: Sylvester Local)
SYLVESTER, GA (WALB) -

Fire crews were still on the scene of a fire at a Sylvester peanut butter plant late Tuesday night making sure hot spots didn't flare up.

Heavy black smoke poured up from the back of the ConAgra Foods plant on Seabrook Drive where Peter Pan Peanut Butter is made.

The fire broke out just before 5:00 this evening in a peanut roaster exhaust fan. Firefighters are still investigating the exact cause but say that fan actually pulled the flames into the building.

Firefighters sent an interior attack team in to push the flames back.

"The maintenance personnel that's on scene was allowed to undo some access panels in the roasters to let us get up in there to the fire, said Worth County Fire and Rescue Capt. Thomas Whittington. "It got back into the building. We had to send an interior team back in to chase it back outside again. And everything seems to be, we got it under control and contained it to the exhaust fan outside."

The building was evacuated quickly, and no one was hurt. Production is shut down for now. Con Agra officials say they should know more Wednesday morning about when the plant can reopen.

Little damage was done to the exterior but the Fire Captain reported thousands of dollars in damage inside. Two outside exhaust fans were also damaged.

You may remember this plant was in the news back in 2007 when a leaky roof led to a salmonella outbreak. The plant was shut down for months for repairs and cleanup.

Tuesday evening, ConAgra released this statement:

A roaster oven at our Sylvester, Georgia facility began to emit smoke at about 4:45 ET this afternoon. The building was evacuated and a small, contained fire was extinguished immediately. There are no reported injuries. We are dedicated to ensuring the safety of our employees and are actively investigating the root cause of the fire.

 

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