Mars Plant Fire Forces Evac

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 @ 02:05 PM gHale

Waco firefighters extinguish hot spots at the Mars Chocolate plant in Waco, TX, May 2.

An electrical malfunction in a refrigeration trailer caused a fire May 2 at the Mars Chocolate North America plant in Waco, TX, officials said.

The fire started at about 1 p.m. at the candy plant’s loading dock, and strong winds caused flames to spread to five other refrigeration trucks. Vranich said workers were in the process of loading the trucks with products when the fire broke out, said Waco Fire Marshal Kevin Vranich.

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Some of the company’s products were lost in the fire, though details on the type and amount of the products lost were not available.

Large black plumes of smoke rose as firefighters arrived at the plant. About 520 employees work at the plant, and on-duty workers safely evacuated the facility.

There were no injuries in the incident, said City of Waco spokesman Larry Holze. Vranich said damage was primarily contained to the outside of the facility.

“We do not have a total dollar loss at this time, but it appears to be an accidental fire due to a mechanical failure within a refrigeration trailer,” Vranich said.

A Mars spokesperson said in a statement Wednesday the company appreciates the work of local firefighters and their swift action.

“A contained fire occurred at our Waco site on Tuesday afternoon,” the statement said. “All of our associates are safe and have been accounted for. We are working with local authorities to investigate the cause of the fire and greatly appreciate the quick response and support of the local fire department.”

Vranich said an investigation into the fire is ongoing.

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