As the sun rose above Murray Bridge dozens of firefighters were still containing the fire which ripped through Thomas Foods International’s meatworks last night.
About 20 were on the scene early on, but a Metropolitan Fire Service spokeswoman said reinforcements had been called for as the threat continued.
“While it’s contained there have been flare-ups which we’re expecting to continue this morning,” she said.
“It’s in the basement area of the facility at the moment.”
Thomas Foods International's South Australian meatworks at Murray Bridge was heavily damaged by fire on Wednesday night.
All employees were safely and quickly evacuated, but the factory's largest building was destroyed.
The spokeswoman confirmed most of the meatworks had been saved, but that the area impacted by the fire had taken significant damage at a likely cost of tens of millions of dollars.
Devastating damage at Thomas Foods, Murray Bridge. Met with emergency services workers this morning & thanked them for their efforts overnight & ongoing. Support from across the state. Govt through Min Bignell will be working with Thomas Foods on recovery and restoring operations pic.twitter.com/9qVo3NcLQt— Chris Picton MP (@PictonChris) January 4, 2018
A hundred firefighters from 13 MFS and 11 Country Fire Service units were involved in the fire fight at its peak last night.
SA Police officers controlled traffic and kept the public at a safe distance, paramedics from the SA Ambulance Service monitored firefighters’ health throughout the night, and the Salvation Army delivered meals to weary personnel.
Investigators will inspect the scene and speak with witnesses on Thursday, once the danger has been minimised.
In a warning message issued on Thursday morning, the MFS advised residents – especially those with respiratory issues – to close their doors and windows until the smoke passed.