Fire damages Illinois Smithfield meatpacking plant
A fire at a Smithfield Foods meat plant in Monmouth, IL Monday evening has temporarily halted operations for the plant’s 1,600 workers.
The fire was located in the rendering portion of the plant, where animal tissue is broken down to yield grease. Fire crews responded to a call shortly after 5 p.m. on Monday. Additional alarms required the assistance of numerous fire departments, according to local Monmouth newspaper the Daily Review Atlas. A nearby housing development was evacuated as a precaution. No injuries were recorded as a result of the fire.
The plant was able to operate on a limited production schedule Thursday, and is back to its full schedule as of Friday.
“The company would like to express its sincere appreciation to the employees and contractors who were instrumental in efficiently restoring the plant back to full capacity,” the company said. “We also appreciate our customers, vendors and other stakeholders working with us through this situation and continue to be thankful to emergency response personnel from the local and surrounding communities for their support.”
The investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.