KANSAS CITY, Mo – A spokeswoman with Smithfield Foods confirmed that a Labor Day fire broke out at the company’s Monmouth, Illinois, pork-processing facility. The company wrote in an emailed statement that the fire occurred in the rendering area of the plant on the evening of Sept. 5 and that there were no injuries associated with the event. The plant, which employs approximately 1,500 workers, is shut down as plant and fire officials investigate the incident.
According to local news reports, as many as eight fire departments from surrounding municipalities responded to the blaze, where operations were limited due to the Labor Day holiday.
At a 7:30 p.m. press conference Lowell Crow, city administrator, reported that the fire was under control. As the city’s largest employer, many area residents are concerned about the prospect of the plant being closed for an extended period of time.
“Further assessments continue to be made early this week and the plant will be operational as soon as possible,” said Farmland’s statement. “We would like to thank emergency response personnel from the local and surrounding communities for their efforts to assist in this situation.”