YUBA COUNTY (CBS13) – An Olivehurst-area walnut plant was destroyed in a massive fire late Saturday night, devastating residents who call the plant a staple in the community.
“There’s a lot of people who lost their jobs,” said Mario Leal, who stopped by to survey the damage one day after a massive fire ripped through the Shoei Foods plant.
Leal says he heard about the fire, but wasn’t prepared for the pile of debris left behind.
“I don’t know if people know because it happened over the weekend, and they’re going to show up to work and realizing that, you know … there’s no place to work,” Leal said.
According to the Linda Fire Department, firefighters were able to stop the flames from spreading to more parts of the Shoei Foods facility. Still, about 200,000 square feet of the 1900 Feather River Boulevard facility was destroyed.
Officials say that wood pallets inside the building kept the fire going. Another complication was that propane tanks, used for forklifts, kept exploding.
“It didn’t sound like gunshots, it was like canons,” said Olivehurst resident Ruth Piazza.
While no one was hurt in the fire, neighbors say the apparent loss of jobs could be devastating enough.
“There’s, like, maybe 100 people that work there … it’s pretty sad,” Leal said.
Crews from over a dozen agencies were called in to help with the firefight. Investigators are still trying to figure out what caused the fire.