Peanut warehouse fire becomes all-night fight

Peanut warehouse fire becomes all-night fight

DONALSONVILLE, GA (WALB) - Firefighters spent all Thursday night battling a large and stubborn fire at a peanut warehouse in Donalsonville.

The warehouse at the Clover Leaf Cotton Gin is packed with tons of peanuts. Crews brought in heavy equipment to try to save the nuts.

When fire chief Dean King first saw the huge fire, he empathized with a kid from the Bible who also had a difficult fight in front of him.

"As we pulled up to this humongous building, the thought crossed my mind: 'that's how David must have felt when we walked up to Goliath.' How small we really are, when you pull up to a situation like this. It puts it all into perspective," he said.

Peanut fires of this magnitude are not easy to put out, but King has an optimistic timeline for his crew.

"We're going to continue operations throughout the night, and hopefully, if things go smooth, we'll have this operation wrapped up by tomorrow afternoon," King said.

There were multiple barriers, but thanks to excellent planning, dangers like an elevator structure in danger of falling on crew members, were taken care of.

King said, "It started to lean, and the guy wires holding it up. And it being such a safety hazard to the firefighters and the excavator workers and the truck drivers. We ceased operations on it long enough to be able to take equipment and make sure the elevator was placed in a safe manner on the ground."

The Donalsonville Fire Department didn't do it alone. They had help from two prison fire departments, a couple of departments from other counties and volunteers. The chief is grateful for help.

"Most of them are volunteers. They're doing it out the goodness of their heart and they're wanting to help the fellow man," he said.

Crews scrambled to save the peanuts that had not been burned. They're dumping them on the ground and watering them down to ensure they don't catch fire again.

"Right now they are moving these peanuts to Alabama. To my understanding there is a couple things they can do with them. I don't know what they are going to do at this time, but like us, they are just glad nobody got hurt," Chief King said.

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