Continuing Coverage: Fire crews continue to contain fire in Farmville silo

FARMVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Fire crews in Farmville have used over 2 million gallons of water in an attempt to put out a fire in a silo.

“We still don’t know how much product is still in there and we don’t to what level it’s burning, “said Assistant Fire Chief Tommy Brady.

The burning structure is located at the Natural Blend plant on Alternate 264. The company noticed the smoke early Friday morning and called for help.

Natural Blend Manager Dennis Thomas says he thinks it happened right after they hired an outside company to help fix a clog in the silo.

“We brought in two outside companies that specialized in cleaning out silos, one from West Virginia and one from Ohio and we think some drilling caused some friction and smoldering,” said Thomas.

The Natural Blend plant opened in 2014 and processes sweet potatoes into dehydrated pellets.

Farmville’s Assistant Fire Chief Tommy Brady says the company won’t be open until the smoke is gone. His biggest concern is the silo possibly collapsing.

“We don’t know how much the structure is been damaged from the inside. We don’t know the integrity of the steel of the silo, or how much heat is on it at the top because we can’t see it.”

Fire crews have been on standby since Friday. They say it’s getting tough.

“We are all volunteers. It’s hard to be out here all day, every day because a lot of our people are working other jobs,” Brady said.

Crews will continue to monitor the silo until it stops burning. WNCT is told company employees will monitor the structure and get paid. This will help volunteer firefighters.

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