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Published September 05, 2009, 07:15 AM

Cavendish to reopen within four weeks

Officials at Cavendish Farms expect the James-town food-processing plant to be operational within the next four weeks, said Mary Keith, vice president of communications with Cavendish Farms, by e-mail Thursday evening.

By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun

Officials at Cavendish Farms expect the James-town food-processing plant to be operational within the next four weeks, said Mary Keith, vice president of communications with Cavendish Farms, by e-mail Thursday evening.

A fire that ripped through the plant Monday afternoon caused the fire department to remove a portion of the exterior wall to exhaust heavy black toxic smoke, said Gordie Christianson, deputy fire chief, Jamestown Fire Department.

The smoke was caused when Styrofoam that was sandwiched between two pieces of steel suspended from the ceiling started to smolder, Christianson said. It is believed that the Styrofoam started to smolder when the source of the fire reached it, he said.

The fire moved south to north and was stopped at the north end of the building when it reached a cinderblock firewall, Christianson said.

The blaze also damaged electrical and control wiring at the plant as well as the building’s ceiling, Keith said.

“The minimal damage is a tribute to the work of local firefighters and because of their efforts our employees will be back to work within the next four weeks,” Keith said.

The fire did not damage the plant’s warehouse and Cavendish Farms is currently meeting all of their customers needs, she said. Production was also increased at other Cavendish plants, she said.

Because Cavendish Farms is a privately owned company, they will not release any information regarding damage estimates and repair costs, Keith said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Christianson said.

Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455

or by e-mail at brodgers@jamestownsun.com

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