Firefighters responded to a report of a fire at FCI, located on St. Pauls Road just outside of Raeford, Andrew Jacobs of county emergency management said.
“We received a call of a fire here, still unknown cause, very early on to it. We’re working to contain the fire. They’re doing a great job of that,” Jacobs said at the scene, at about 10:45 a.m. Friday.
First responders contained the fire to the building, away from tanks on the other side of the building and across the road.
“The fire’s been contained to this side of the building, the tanks back here have been cooled and no longer an issue there. We have departments on scene from around the county and a couple from Cumberland and Robeson County. Right now we’re just making sure the fire is contained and no threat to anybody out here,” Jacobs said.
The fire was about half contained by that point with departments still on the scene, Jacobs said.
“We’ve got plenty of manpower on scene and we’ll be out here for a good bit, but everything seems to be going well,” he said.
Responders did not expect the fire to spread further.
Alfred K. “Dooie” Leach of FCI said it wasn’t immediately clear how the fire started, but they suspect it was in the electrical room.
“We believe it was probably in the area of the electrical room but once it started it caught really quickly,” he said. The fire “essentially destroyed” the facility, Leach said.
There were no personnel in the building and all personnel have been accounted for, he said.
“All property damage, which is disappointing, but it’s just things,” he said.
Leach praised the efforts of the first responders.
“I can’t say enough about the first responders, they have been great,” he said.
There were areas in the plant that contained things that, when burned, could have constituents that could raise a problem for firefighters, but they had a list of what the building contained and acted appropriately in response, Leach said.
The company does have insurance on the property and plans to rebuild.
Law enforcement blocked off the roads surrounding the area throughout the morning.
This story is still developing and will be updated.