TYLER, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) — Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner for thousands of people will have to change after a fire at the Greenberg Smoked Turkeys meat processing plant in Texas.
It was on the evening of November 6 when emergency crews were called out to the shipping facility in Tyler, a city about 100 miles southeast of Dallas.
More than 78,000 turkeys were destroyed in the fire.
What’s left of 78,000 smoked turkeys that were in a freezer and ready for shipping before an explosion/fire at the Greenberg Smoked Turkeys in Tyler. A cause has not been determined. More than 200,000 customers order them around the holidays each year from the 81yo company pic.twitter.com/H4DgkwefPy
— J.D. Miles (@jdmiles11) November 9, 2020
When Tyler Fire Department firefighters got to the scene they found debris in the roadway, fire in several commercial buildings and smoke in the air. The area hardest hit was a building used largely for storage and according to first-responders contained a number of large freezer units.
The blast and fire was so intense that the company has had to cease production. In a social media post Saturday the company said, “We have temporarily suspended customer orders due to a fire at our facility and we appreciate your patience as we continue evaluating the situation.”
While the exact cause of fire hasn’t been determined, Tyler Fire Marshal Paul Findley he believes “some sort of explosion” occurred. He said that initial assumption was made after seeing several metal roll-up doors on the building blown out.
No injuries were reported.
On Sunday, Sam Greenberg called the fire “catastrophic” and confirmed that the company will not be able to ship any birds this season. But he also said, “We are already in the process of rebuilding and will be back stronger than ever in 2021.”
Firefighters delayed going inside the building because it was just too hot.
Officials have reportedly interviewed witnesses and residents in the area and have obtained surveillance video that will help with the investigation.
The cause of the fire is still undetermined.
Greenberg teared up while talking to CBS 11 about how disappointed he is for his 200,000 loyal customers.
“I have the best customers in the world and the best employees in the world,” he said. “And I worried about that fact that was the first thing what about my customers will they come back if I’m not here. For your well wishes the emails and calls are overwhelming. I couldn’t be happier. I have more pride in what we do and the people that we serve it’s unbelievable. We’ll be back.”
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