SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO — Columbus Foods, which produces a wide range of quality deli meat and cured meat products, is working with investigators to determine the cause of a four-alarm fire on July 23 at the company's plant in South San Francisco. Starting around 1:30 a.m., the fire burned for several hours. All employees were immediately evacuated from the facility and nobody was injured.

What caused the fire remains unknown and damage to the 40,000-square foot facility is being assessed. All other Columbus facilities in the area are unaffected. The affected facility on Cabot Road is used to slice and package Columbus Foods products. The company is working with vendors to ensure there is no significant disruption in services. This incident is expected to cause some short-term shipping delays.

"We are fortunate and grateful that all of our employees are safe and accounted for," said Ralph Denisco, Columbus Foods chief executive officer. "We thank the South San Francisco Fire Department and other local fire departments for their quick response to this emergency.

"This facility is not used to create Columbus Foods products and there is no impact to the product itself," he added. "We expect there will be minimal disruption in the distribution of our products to stores."