A massive fire that has been burning for nearly eight hours strikes a major employer in Winnsboro. That’s the second fire this weekend to destroy two big businesses in rural parishes.
Firefighters were called to Winnsboro Rubber Recyclers this morning around 9 a.m., on a report of flames and heavy smoke at the business.
Fire officials report manpower from 11 different districts to be fighting the flames, including firefighters from Franklin Parish, Winnsboro, Richland Parish, Monroe, Crowville, Mangham, Alto, Baskin, Jonesville, Ouachita Parish, and Eden Fellowship.
Fire officials say that four workers were on duty at the time, when they had to evacuate after flames broke out in the outdoor storage facility, where huge piles of rubber and tires are stored, which created a fire hazard.
For about an hour, officials say that the fire produced toxic smoke, although firefighters' efforts cleared the air of danger and no injuries were reported.
was black smoke everywhere, where I’m standing. We couldn’t see each other. It
was that dark,” said teenager Jamie Johnson, who saw the flames. “When we got
out here, it was straight black smoke. It was just 3 fire trucks here. Now it’s
everyone from Ouachita, to
Winnsboro Rubber Recyclers is an industrial plant that strips old tires, makes rubber products, and ships them worldwide. They employ approximately 30 workers, according to city officials.
“There was fire in the building, they attacked it from the other side, and put the fire out inside. There’s lots of electrical equipment in there,” said Mitch Reynolds, of homeland security.
Robert Ignont, with the mayor’s office, says the fire is devastating to the local economy, since the company helped build the Superdome, and was even rolling out with plans to expand.
“Anytime you lose a business, or shut down for a while, there’s a loss of jobs, revenue, income, it will hurt the city,” said Ignont.
Firefighters are still on the scene, spraying water over the most flammable parts of the plant, and containing the flames. Officials say the next step is to dump foam onto the scene, and stir the it with a backhoe to see how much fire is left.
Friday, a fire is
officials report that the fire started in the hydraulic room, and spread
rapidly throughout the plant. About 70 people won’t be returning to work
Monday, and corporate officials will be in