Local News

Fire Breaks Out at Sampson Meat Plant

Posted June 19, 2007

— Firefighters from about a dozen fire departments were called to a fire at a Sampson County meat-processing plant Tuesday afternoon.

The fire started at about 1p.m. in a garage adjacent to the Martins Abattoir & Wholesale Meats plant off U.S. Highway 13 in Godwin, plant manager W.A. Bullard said.

Two men were in the garage at the time and escaped without injury, Bullard said. The men said they heard a popping noise and then saw flames, he said.

"It looks to me like a flash fire from something, but I don't know what it was," he said. "The guys had fire extinguishers, but they said it was too hot and came running out."

Thick black smoke could be seen pouring from the area for some time as tires and cardboard boxes stored in the area burned. Fire crews remained on the scene until Tuesday evening to water down hot spots as the fire continued to smolder.

"I'm glad we made the decision when we were on the scene not to make an interior attack," said Lt. Brett Hairr of the Clement Fire Department. "The building was fully involved, it was a weakening structure, and as you can see, we had a roof collapse."

Firefighters said the flames came dangerously close to igniting a large propane tank behind the garage.

A couple of trucks were parked in the garage, Bullard said, adding that he didn't have an estimate of the damage.

The fire didn’t affect production at the plant, he said.

The cause of the fire is unknown, but firefighters said they suspect a welding torch ignited combustible material.


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • sassyfrass Jun 19, 2007

    Thank the lord no one was hurt! The Martin's are great people and my heart goes out to them. Also, my hats off to all the firefighters! You guys are awesome!!

  • ladyblue Jun 19, 2007

    Milky-- not quite sure if you're joking, but the garage was adjacent, and this time I think it means it was attached to the meat plant. That's probably whay it's title is that way. If your garage attached to your house burned, the news would probably read Milky's house. I am glad this was just the garage and the meat plant and people working were spared the same mess as soouth carolina

  • LorieJames Jun 19, 2007

    I worked at Martin's twice for a total of over 5 years. I am so glad that no one was hurt and that the fire was contained to the garage and it's contents. Martin's employs many people in our area and I am also glad that they their production will not be affected by this. My prayers and thoughts are with the Martin family and the employees and firefighters. Lorie Hall Faircloth

  • materseed Jun 19, 2007

    svaraj-38758 -at- mypacks -dot- net yes this place is directly across the road from old hickory.

  • svaraj38758 Jun 19, 2007

    Thankfully it was relatively minor by the indications from news reports. I think you generally find people tend to just try to lightheartedly inject a bit of dry humor into stories with not so tragic endings. There's still monetary damages and I'm sure the fire probably created some tense emotions for awhile, but in the end, nobody was hurt and obviously a fire and meat plant is going to be fodder for a few comedians. In this circumstance, I don't think any harm was meant.

    Was this fire near the old Hickory Barbecue place on Highway 13? Again, glad no one was injured, especially after the sad news from South Carolina today.

  • dell Jun 19, 2007

    raptor101----True, true

  • Adelinthe Jun 19, 2007

    raptor101 - I agree with cmartin and believe if it was your family, it suddenly wouldn't be so funny.

    Let's let humor roll where it will, but let's make sure it's truly warranted first, otherwise it's just drivel.

    Thanking God no one was hurt.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • .Milky Jun 19, 2007

    "Fire Breaks Out at Sampson Meat Plant"

    I don't know why everyone thinks this fire is at a meat plant.


  • pink lady Jun 19, 2007

    glad to hear that no one was hurt...

  • raptor101 Jun 19, 2007

    cmartin, do yourself a favor... You are obviously a bit sensative about this issue... Please for your own sake, Stop reading the comments.

    You see the comments on all the stories, it is only going to get worse from here.