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Cause unclear in fire that claimed poultry plant

Posted April 2, 2010

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— Authorities are investigating a fire that broke out at a poultry plant in Maxton late Thursday.

More than a 100 firefighters from more than a dozen fire departments responded to the fire at 21501 Charles Craft Lane, which was reported by one of the about 16 workers inside the plant around 11:15 p.m. Thursday.

Fire ravages Maxton poultry plant Fire ravages Maxton poultry plant

"It was fully involved on arrival," Laurinburg Fire Department Lt. Randy Gibson said.

The Fayetteville Regional Hazardous Materials team was called in to handle an ammonia leak in the back of the building, Gibson said.

The fire raged for several hours before being extinguished Friday morning.

No injuries were reported.

"Sadly enough, from what we can see right now, there is a lot of structural damage and loss," Gibson said. "It's gonna be a devastating blow for the House of Raeford."

The 61,000 square-foot building houses the Mechanically Separated Chicken Division of House of Raeford.

The 60 employees who work there will continue to receive normal pay while the plant is shut down, according to a statement released by the company Friday afternoon.

"It's kind of hard, hard to see it go like that," said employee Tony Dudley. He was one of those on duty when the fire struck.

"Hopefully, we can rebuild and keep going."

The cause of the fire is unknown. The State Bureau of Investigation and Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms officers were expected to arrive at the scene Friday afternoon.

The House of Raeford manufactures turkey and chicken products. The facility in Maxton is one of four in North Carolina. Plants are also located in South Carolina and Louisiana.


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  • discowhale Apr 2, 2010

    Gee kansaswho, if they'd only known!!!

    PUHlease, get over your self.

    I guess you've never said anything that hit anyone the wrong way? And just who is it that has never had pain in their lives? Not to mention that you just wished them pain, so I'm guessing that you're the better person now?

    You made no mention of the jobs lost, suffering caused to the workers from lost wages, money spent to fix the plant, or if they'll just close the plant, it was all about you.

  • kansaswho Apr 2, 2010

    Some of you people are a piece of work.posting jokes and taking wise cracks without considering other people's feelings...Sadly to say but before this was the House of Raeford it was Maxton Meats which was built and ran by my brother in law for years who is now dead. The memories of this plant were all we had left of him..Sure wish I could make a wise crack comment on something tragic that happens in your life only to show you what it feels like..May God be with you all and save you before its too late...

  • pattip574 Apr 2, 2010

    Sadly, this will likely lead in more job losses.

  • bigdaddy1 Apr 2, 2010

    i was hired to do some insulation work at this plant years ago and this is the only job that i ever walked away from because of the ammonia leaks .

  • YeaOh Apr 2, 2010

    Is this the plant that went Union recently? I'm just saying.

  • just brian Apr 2, 2010

    What is going on with all of the fires recently? Subdivision in Rolesville, Multiple apartment fires, the courthouse in Pittsboro...
    This is very strange.
    I'm glad there have not been more people hurt.

  • hardwork919 Apr 2, 2010

    Just glad to hear everyone's ok...

  • wdweveryyear Apr 2, 2010

    At least they'll have dinner when they are done with the fire!

  • Adelinthe Apr 2, 2010

    Thank God all are safe.

    I remember a poultry processing fire some years back where several died and were injured, because the employer had chained all the fire exit doors to prevent theft.

    Thank God it was not so in this case.

    Praying for all those who worked here whose jobs now hang in the balance.

    God bless.


  • TeresaBee Apr 2, 2010

    I wonder what that fire smells like.