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Sampson Workers Anxious To Get Back on the Clock After Plant Fire

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ROSEBORO — A plant fire in Sampson County may put dozens of people out of work. Plastic Tubing, Incorporated caught fire early Sunday morning. Twenty fire departments worked together to put out the flames.

The focus Monday shifted from exactly what happened to how it happened, and investigators had an answer for the company late Monday afternoon.

After searching through charred plastic debris for five hours, SBI, ATF and Sampson County investigators found the cause of the destructive fire.

The fire at Plastic Tubing, Inc, gutted about half of the factory, primarily a storage area for used plastic materials that are recycled into pipes and tubes.

"All it is is electrical. As far as determining exactly what happened with the electrical wiring itself inside the box, we can't. We don't have a ruling on that," said Assistant Fire Marshall Ronald Bass.

But even with the cause of the fire known, 30 idle workers from the plant are now wondering when they will get back on the job.

George Harris lives paycheck to paycheck.

"For now I'll find something to do. Maybe work some side jobs until things get back," said Harris.

The company believes that it can get most of its workers back soon, since the manufacturing portion of the plant was not damaged.

"We certainly feel like this is going to be a very short-term thing," said PTI Vice President Tina Johnson. "We hope to have at least most of them back to work by the end of the week. We're trying to get everything moving as quickly as possible so we can do that, because we realize that a lot of families depend on us."

There were about 20 office workers who were at the plant Monday. They still are shipping pipe out of the plant, because much of the pipe is stored outside of the plant.

Investigators said that they do not believe that any kind of hazardous materials were leaked or released as a result of the fire.

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Len Besthoff, Reporter
John Cox, Photographer
John Clark, Web Editor

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