WARD, S.C. (AP) — A fire at a South Carolina processing plant for chicken byproduct, which is used as an ingredient for pet food, has been extinguished, authorities said Friday.
The fire started Thursday at Valley Proteins Inc. in Saluda County, news outlets reported. No one was injured.
Darling Ingredients, which acquired Valley Proteins in May, said plans are now underway to assess the damage and determine their next steps.
“We deeply regret that this incident has occurred,” the company said in a statement. “Our top priority is the safety and well-being of our employees, contractors, and the community.”
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Authorities said the fire, which was reported about 2 p.m. Thursday, was originally contained to a cooking unit, but it then moved to multiple parts of the facility, causing a potentially dangerous environment. By 5:45 p.m., the fire was under control but continued to burn well into the night.
A spokesperson for Darling Ingredients confirmed just before noon Friday that the fire had been extinguished.
Saluda County Emergency Management’s Josh Morton described the damage as considerable. The company said it is looking toward mitigating the impact the fire has on the supply chain.
“We anticipate we are able to process the raw material at other Darling Ingredients facilities and are working with our customers and suppliers to ensure minimal immediate service interruption,” the company said.