Local News

Northampton peanut warehouse continues to burn

Posted September 2, 2009 6:03 p.m. EDT
Updated September 2, 2009 6:39 p.m. EDT

— Firefighters have been fighting a blaze inside a peanut storage warehouse in Northampton County for more than three weeks.

Investigators said they don’t know how the fire started on Aug. 11 at the facility on Severn Road run by Severn Peanut Company. The fire is inside of a dome, which houses 10,000 tons of peanuts.

“Even if the peanuts weren’t on fire, it would be a sight to see – just that amount of peanuts in one location,” said Tim Byers, of the county’s emergency management office.

Byers said the fire doesn't appear to be suspicious.

The nuts have been fueling the flames and attracting attention to Severn, a town of 350 people.

David Barnes was nearby on Saturday when an explosion damaged the dome’s roof.

“You could see the smoke, probably, about a mile away,” Barnes said.

Severn Peanut Company, at 401 Main St., is the town's main employer and has been the centerpiece of the town since the 1940s. Company president Dallas Barnes said he is “very concerned” about the fire.

Since the facility is just used for storage, no employees have been affected, Barnes said.

Firefighters said there have been no injuries and no homes are in danger.

Crews on Wednesday were digging a pit behind the building. They planned to fill the pit with water and eventually submerge the peanuts in it to help put the fire out.

Firefighters said they expect to be on the scene for at least two more weeks.