Fire breaks out at Mars candy plant in Waco

Kurtis Quillin reports.

Firefighters batted a fire at the Mars candy plant in Waco Tuesday afternoon.

Just after 1 p.m., flames were spotted coming from a tractor trailer parked at a loading dock. Pushed by strong wind, the flames quickly spread to five other trailers and became a three-alarm fire.

First responders were not able to confirm the contents of the trailers, as of late Tuesday afternoon. But, Waco City Spokesperson Larry Holze said firefighters were able to control the blaze fairly quickly.

"We will be doing an investigation into what caused the incident," Holze said. "But, the wind blowing caused the fire to move quicker than we wanted and to move into those other five trailers."

Emergency Management Coordinator Frank Patterson said firefighters worked hard to prevent the fire from spreading into the building, which it never did. However, some workers inside the plant were evacuated as a precaution.

The Waco Fire Department said it has a station right across the street from the plant that is fully equipped and trained to deal with industrial fires. Hewitt and Robinson firefighters provided mutual aid, including a tanker truck. Waco sent eleven of its own fire units.

No one was injured in the fire.

"That's the most fortunate thing is that in an incident like this, it doesn't involve anybody injured," Holze said. "That's what we're always thankful for."

The Waco plant employs hundreds of people, and it produces most of the Snickers bars in North America. 

Imperial Drive was closed west of the Central Texas Parkway while crews were at the scene. And, Waco Police diverted traffic for a good portion of the day.

The Mars factory is located near Midway High School and Midway Middle School. The district urged parents to take an alternate route when picking up their students, to avoid the scene nearby. Classes were not impacted by the fire.

© 2017 KCEN-TV


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