Saluda County rendering plant catches fire on Thanksgiving

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Published: Nov. 25, 2022 at 9:18 AM EST
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WARD, S.C. (WIS) -A fire on Thanksgiving damaged a rendering plant in Saluda County.

Fire Service Coordinator Luke Downing said first responders were at the scene on Nov. 24 at around 2:15 p.m. at Valley Proteins, located at 271 Valpro Rd. Downing said the fire began in a cooking unit but quickly spread to much of the building.

Valley Proteins, LLC provides services for the collection, rendering, and recycling of supermarket waste and animal processing of fat, bone trimmings, and meat. It also provides restaurant-used cooking oil that is used across the country.

A representative for the company said the plant employs around 160 people, and there are no plans to lay off any employees. An assessment of the damage is underway. Current plans include shifting resources to other facilities to prevent disruptions to service.

Downing said up to 60 first responders aided in containing the fire. They responded from Laurens, Abbeville, Greenwood, Aiken, Newberry, and Lexington Counties. The fire was contained by 5 p.m. but crews continued to investigate overnight and into Friday. Downing shared that the building had significant damage and drones were used to explore the interior.

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