Fire rips through Davie County chicken processing plant


MOCKSVILLE, N.C. -- Video shows a large fire at a chicken processing plant in Davie County Thursday morning.

The fire happened just before 3 a.m. at the House of Raeford Farms on Eaton Road in Mocksville.

Rachel Cornell, who captured the fire on video, said the flames were 20 feet high, which posed a challenge for the Mocksville firefighters.

No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is unknown. The fire broke out in the center of the plant, according to Mocksville Police Chief Frank Carter.

Due to an ammonia chemical, the fire was also called in as a chemical leak. A Hazmat crew was called to help.

The main part of the ammonia tank was closed, but the piping inside the plant still had about 6,000 pounds of ammonia, according to Carter.

Chavis Spry said he was concerned about his safety and what the fumes from the ammonia leak could do to his health as he battles bone cancer.

House of Raeford released a statement on the fire Thursday morning:

“Early this morning a fire broke out in our Mocksville, NC plant. Within minutes, first responders were on the scene. Thanks to their good work and the work of our plant team, the fire is out, no one was harmed and the site is secure. Local authorities remain on the scene to monitor it and assist our plant management with their investigation to determine the cause and extent of the damage."

All employees will also be paid their normal wage until further notice.

Carter said crews responded to an ammonia leak at this site when it was under different ownership about 20 years ago.

Both Spry and Cornell say emergency responders did more than just handle a dangerous situation.

"I trust the fire department is going to keep us informed and to let us know if we're in any danger," Cornell said.

This has been the first major incident at this plant since Raeford took over in 2014.