Firefighters from 14 departments across North Carolina fought a heavy blaze on Saturday 25 February after a fire broke out at a large meat processing factory in the US town of Teachey.
The fire started at 11.30pm and one firefighter responding to the emergency was injured as crew battled the blaze until Sunday morning. The cause of fire has not been disclosed, but an investigation is ongoing and the plant remains closed. It is not clear how many jobs will be affected.
The factory is the property of family-owned poultry company House of Raeford Farms and the facility, called ‘Wallace Plant’, was not in operation at the time of the fire.
House of Raeford Farms has confirmed all staff employed at the Wallace Plant will be paid their normal wage until further notice.
The business said it was “committed” to restoring operations at the meat plant as soon as possible.
In a statement on the company’s Facebook page, House of Raeford Farms said: “We commend plant officials and emergency response teams for their incredible efforts to follow protocol and manage the situation.
“Plant management worked quickly to secure the scene and ensure everyone’s safety. Emergency response teams worked to control the fire and remain at the plant location to ensure that the fire is under control.”
The vertically-integrated company produces frozen and ready-to-cook chicken, premium deli meats and fully-cooked chicken products.
It manufactures chicken for foodservice, retail and export and also works directly with school districts to supply chicken products for the lunches of American schoolchildren.
The family-owned business was founded in 1925.
How the fire was reported on social media
02/25/2017 Working Structure Fire. House of Raeford Teachey on Butterball Rd. Teachey, Wallace, Rose Hill, Northeast, Harrells, Burgaw, pic.twitter.com/b9Gv7heCqG— Duplin Co Fire News (@duplin_fire) February 26, 2017