KINSTON, N.C. – August 31, 2010 – Butterball, LLC's Kinston, N.C. slicing facility suffered extensive damage by fire yesterday. All employees were safely evacuated.
"The Kinston facility employees reacted in a professional and very prompt manner resulting in the safe evacuation of all employees. Butterball conducts numerous drills throughout the year to prepare in case of such incidents," said Brian Rodgers, director of safety and risk management at Butterball. "We are happy to report that there are no injuries resulting from the incident."
Despite the quick action on part of the local emergency response teams, it is believed that the fire damaged the entire facility. Butterball will work with authorities to investigate the cause of the fire.
Butterball Kinston associates were given assurances during a meeting held on August 31, that they will have employment opportunities at Butterball's Mt. Olive facility for the short term and that transportation and other issues will be worked out for the mutual benefit of the company and our associates. The Mt. Olive plant is within 30 miles of the Kinston facility.
A counselor for the company's Employee Assistance Program was also at the meeting and available to talk with associates. This program is provided to all Butterball associates and includes assistance for individuals going through difficult times or dealing with traumatic events such as the loss of the facility and the effects on them and their families. The Kinston associates were also informed of the ongoing business determination as to reopening the facility or relocating in a nearby building. At this time, Butterball representatives indicated that decisions were not yet finalized as the damage to the current structure is still under evaluation.
Butterball greatly appreciates the emergency rescue teams for their rapid response and professional manner in which they worked. The quick action of these groups limited the damage sustained by the facility.
Butterball would also like to thank the associates at the Kinston facility for their contributions to the company and the efforts they made during yesterday's unfortunate event.
About Butterball, LLC:
Butterball, LLC is the largest producer of turkey products in the United States. Headquartered in Garner, N.C., Butterball produces more than 1 billion pounds of turkey each year, and the company supplies its products to more than 30 countries. The industry leader has seven plants located throughout the United States.