NE Food Plant Damaged in Fire

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 @ 01:05 PM gHale

A fire Saturday afternoon at the Lincoln, NE, Smithfield Foods Inc. facility caused nearly $100,000 in damage and led to evacuations, fire officials said.

The fire started at the plant at 200 S. Second St. at about 1 p.m., said Battalion Chief Leo Benes. The fire was between an industrial oven and the ceiling, where an excess amount of grease had collected.

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The fire was under control within 45 minutes, Benes said, but its location made it difficult for crews to battle.

Smithfield employees evacuated from the building, but were allowed to return after nearly two hours. There were no injuries in the incident.

Inspector Ken Hilger estimated nearly $100,000 in losses from damaged food, equipment and lost employee hours.

Benes said it is the facility’s responsibility to prevent excess grease and oil from depositing on equipment.

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