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.






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  • TMW

    Now I hope this is happening, but I doubt it.

    WV state government should be in there assisting with relocation options, hopefully in the same community. Businesses that have supported the folks of WV should be supported and encouraged to stay, relocate, and rebuild with state help to keep the jobs.

    Other state's econ. devel. people would be right on this as the situation is ripe for losing more jobs.

  • Fred

    A heavy electrical load on 70-year old euipment. Lots of clutter and flammable materials. How many West Virginians are currently working under similar dangerous conditions?

  • any major dude

    Thank God nobody was hurt. I hope Ballards had insurance. They are a big part of the WV economy. I echo Brian in hoping this unfortunate incident spurs them to modernize and come back stronger than ever.

  • Ryan

    The building was built in the 1940s, an electrical fire in the upstairs office is suspected. It took the firefighters over 30 minutes to respond and then only had a few minutes of water. The upstairs of the plant is storage areas filled with boxes ect... After running out of water it was more than 10 minutes before the next truck came. They continued to run out of water as the fire spread more and more. The firefighter were able to save both houses on the property. Thank you for that. Luckily all of the employees were able to get out. Hopefully Mr Ballard rebuilds his family's legacy. Our prayers are with the Ballards family.

  • Dumb Liberals

    Check their financial situation. It could be a ****** lightning strike. Stranger things have happen, especially with the area's depressed economy. Leave no charred ash unturned.

    • mt


      Dumb liberals did not blame it on obama.

      Huh, maybe u can fix stupid.

      • Dumb Liberals

        mt (must be short for mountain turd), you're proof you can't fix stupid. Who do you think is behind the destruction of US businesses and economy. You're just another m0r0n's m0r0n!

    • Cletus

      Only a m0r0n would make such a statement. It's m0r0ns like you that give new meaning to the word m0r0n. Put that in your m0r0n pipe and smoke it. Ya m0r0n.

    • arp

      That is a spurious and outrageous comment.

  • Aaron

    While I hate to see this, I'll bet the smell was heavenly.

  • Brian

    I sure am glad no injuries. Great job staff and responders. It is sad that Ballards suffered this list, they're iconic. Just about every grocery store in WV I've been too in the past 30 years has carried their products. I hope they come back quickly and stronger than ever.