The Deli Star Corp. plant in Fayetteville, Ill., was destroyed in a fire on Monday night, January 11. No injuries were reported in a fire that is being investigated by the Illinois State Fire Marshall, reports the Belleville News-Democrat.
Fire officials were alerted to the blaze and arrived at the scene around 10:10 p.m., where they encountered “heavy fire, already through the roof.” The six workers who were on duty at the time were able to escape the building safety. The Fayetteville Fire Department needed so much water to battle the fire that it utilized a boat to pump water from the Kaskaskia River to tankers, which then drove to the fire. Residents were under a water boil order because of the low pressure that was created.
Deli Star CEO Justin Siegel issued the following statement:
"At 10 p.m. CT on Monday, January 11, we were alerted by the Fayetteville (Illinois) Fire Department regarding a fire at our Fayetteville plant. As local firefighters worked to put out the fire, we worked to ensure all team members from the evening cleaning crew were accounted for and safe. Thankfully, there were no injuries to report, but unfortunately, the production facility was completely destroyed by the fire.
"While we are devastated by this news, we are thankful no one was injured, and we are grateful to local firefighters for their heroic efforts. We will continue to work with them and with local authorities to determine the cause of the fire.
"In the hours since the fire, we have gone from ashes to fully activated contingency plans as our team works diligently from the command center at Deli Star’s St. Louis Innovation Center. Our long-term customers are sticking with us, and we have secured production support from our network of alternate manufacturing facilities. While it is too early to know exactly what the future holds, we are filled with optimism and gratitude.
"On the darkest day of our company’s 34-year history, I have been overwhelmed by the support and teamwork exhibited by the Deli Star family. Overnight, in the shadows of the flames, our team organized to make sure everyone was safe.
"We are particularly humbled by the prompt and genuine responses from our industry peers, many of whom have stepped up to help us fulfill our customers’ orders at their facilities. I truly cannot thank them enough. Their support in the face of such adversity is a reminder that at the end of the day, we share the same passion - to feed America nutritious proteins."
Late last year, Deli Star announced that it had broken ground on a new Food Discovery Center in St. Louis. For more information about the company, read this 2016 article from Independent Processor.
Source: Belleville News-Democrat