Massive Fire at Crossett Plywood Mill

UPDATE--Massive flames tore through a closed plywood mill in Ashley County Saturday. 

It forced businesses to evacuate and closed Highway 82 for hours. 

Saturday night Crossett's fire chief Bo Higginbotham said firefighters will continue to fight the hot spots most likely for the next couple of days. 

He said, "We wanted to clear the streets to clear the area just for their precaution but nothing major was- there wasn't a chemical leak or anything like that."

We learned from Georgia Pacific it closed the mill back in 2011. 

Police said they got the call about the fire right before 10 Saturday morning. 

The city's fire chief said about a dozen fire departments even from out of Ashley County helped them fight the blaze. 

Saturday night businesses could re-open and the highway is back open but the smoke still lingers as firefighters keep a close eye on the scene. 

Georgia- Pacific Crossett sent our reporter Price McKeon a statement on Saturday. 

It reads: "Georgia-Pacific Crossett would like to thank all of the first responders, including those from the surrounding counties, that assisted with the fire that started while contractors were doing demolition work at the closed plywood facility today. We remain grateful that no one was injured during this event. Due to the high winds, residents directly south of the facility may see debris in their yard from the fire. This material is not toxic, nor is it dangerous to your health. Georgia-Pacific will begin cleanup operations throughout the community tomorrow morning. We deeply regret any inconvenience and remain committed to being a good neighbor."

We met Joe Battaglia whose could see the fire from his house a little more than a block away. 

He said, "I'm just thankful for the Lord that he saved the house and he saved the town. people that people didn't get hurt in the town."

No injuries have been reported according to officials.

The fire is still under investigation according to the fire chief. 

CROSSETT, Ark. --Smoke can be seen for miles from a fire at a plywood mill in Crossett.

The fire broke out around 11 a.m. Saturday at the old Georgia Pacific plywood mill.  We're told the building hasn't been operating in a few years.

So far there are no reports of injuries.

There are reports nearby businesses near U.S. 82 have been evacuated.

We have a crew on the way to the scene and will have more information as it becomes available.

(Photos courtesy Kelli Sivils, Video from @SearkWeather)

 


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