Fire Destroys Pretzel Factory

Tuesday, June 7, 2016 @ 05:06 PM gHale


Plant workers were in the midst of a shift change when a fire broke out at Pretzels Inc. in Cecil Township, PA, just after 6 a.m. Saturday.

“There’s a lot of smoke and damage,” said Chief Executive Scott Smith, who drove to the site from his Ohio home after he received news of the fire. “We’re thankful everybody got out and nobody was injured.”

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Thirteen fire companies ended up called to assist at the fire, which smoldered through the afternoon, said Paul Smith, safety officer of Muse Volunteer Fire Department, Cecil Township No. 2.

“They’re dealing with hot spots,” Paul Smith said. “We were able to save the warehouse part of the structure.”

A state fire marshal was on scene to investigate the cause.

Scott Smith said about 30 employees work at the Cecil Township plant, where a single-oven operation makes pretzels. The company has been operating from that location since 2011.

“It’s going to be completely destroyed. We’ll have to assess, work with insurance and figure out how quickly we can be back up in operation,” he said. “We’ll have a good plan for the people who work here.”

The Pretzels Inc. plant makes peanut butter pretzels.

“(It’s) the only site that made that – certainly an important part of our business,” Scott Smith said. “We’ll get a plan to get in back in production as soon as we can. I just, first and foremost, am thankful everyone is OK and the rest we’ll work on.”

Pretzels Inc.’s headquarters is in Bluffton, IN.

A Washington County 911 supervisor said crews left the scene about 5:30 p.m.