WAYNE, W.Va. — A Monday fire destroyed the Ballard’s food plant in Wayne County.
“It’s just unbelievable. This place has been here for so many years. It’s just heartbreaking,” Wayne Mayor Mick Sanders told MetroNews as he walked around what was left of the four buildings that made up the plant.
The blaze broke out at approximately 10:30 a.m. in one of the offices and then spread quickly.
“Everything is gone. It’s just a containment job right now with firefighters. They’ve exhausted themselves trying to put this thing out. It’s just a big complex,” the mayor said.
The plant, which produces Ballard’s sausage, lunch meats, and homemade salads, has been in production since 1946. The products are shipped to several states.
The plant is actually just a little more than a mile from the Wayne city limits on Wilson Creek Road but Mayor Sanders said the fire would impact the entire community.
“My grandmother retired after working here 35 years. Everybody in the community is going to take a hard hit because there were a lot of jobs out here,” Sanders said.
There were a dozen workers inside the plant when it caught fire. There were no injuries. Firefighters from Wayne and Cabell counties were on the scene.
There was initially no word on what may have started the blaze.