WARD, SC. — A structure fire caused “significant damage” to a Valley Proteins rendering plant in Saluda County on Thanksgiving day, as reported by WLTX News 19, a local news station in Columbia, SC. The facility is primarily used to render meat byproducts for the pet food industry.

Josh Morton, a representative of Saluda County Emergency Management, told WLTX the fire was called in around 2 p.m. and controlled by 5 p.m., but remained burning into the night. Several crews of firefighters assisted in containing the fire.

According to Morton and plant officials, the fire started in a cooking unit and continued to spread to most of the plant. The cause of the fire is still being investigated, but Morton described the damage as “substantial” and noted the plant is not likely to reopen quickly.

Valley Proteins is owned by Darling Ingredients, which acquired the company in May. The Saluda County plant employs approximately 160 people. No on-site workers were injured in the fire, WLTX reported.

Read more from WLTX’s coverage of the fire.

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