A fire destroyed the Missouri Plastics plant in Jackson, which caught fire about 10 p.m. Thursday.
No one was hurt, but the fire continued to burn through much of Friday, said Dwayne Kirchhoff, chief of the East County Fire Protection District.
Kirchhoff said the cause was unknown and the Missouri Fire Marshal’s Office had not been able to start its investigation.
“We’re still trying to get all the hot spots knocked down, so the investigators can go in. We’ve still got a lot of hot spots” under the plastics and paper, he said Friday.
On Saturday, a Cape Girardeau sheriff’s deputy was stationed near the plant to monitor possible flare-ups.
The steel building was “loaded with plastics and recyclable cardboard materials,” Kirchhoff said. The building has been “completely destroyed,” and the I-beams twisted and bent, Kirchhoff said. On Friday morning, he said part of the building had collapsed.
The 100,000-square-foot plant sits at 4751 Route Y. Kirchhoff said a dump truck, another large truck and numerous trailers also were damaged.
Representatives from every fire department in Cape Girardeau County, including the city of Cape Girardeau, assisted, Kirchoff said.
Kirchhoff said the wind was “just right” so it didn’t blow burning embers toward nearby residences. “We’re just glad the smoke was going up above us,” he said.
Kirchhoff said this is the second time the plant has burned. The first time was in 2006, but the building was not destroyed. “This was the first time in many years that all the departments had been on one scene and history repeated,” he said.
In 2006, Kirchhoff said there were flare-ups for almost two weeks after the initial fire. In both fires, no one was hurt.
No one was in the building at the time the blaze started Thursday.
He said the reason it takes so long to put out a fire of this nature is the way the cardboard and recyclable plastics are stacked. “You can’t get water all the way through. [It’s] like a round hay bale. You can’t get full force of your water through,” Kirchhoff said.
A fire destroyed the Missouri Plastics plant in Jackson late Thursday.
(Submitted photo by Josh Boyd with the East County Fire Department.)
Brenda Sutterer, who worked at the plant, said it employed six people and was owned by Rodney Baremore. She got a phone call about the fire about 10:30 p.m. Thursday.
“I’m pretty tired right now. … We’ve been here all night. It’s pretty disheartening because we weren’t able to save anything,” Sutterer said.
“We’re just trying to get through day to day,” she said.