SOUTH BEND – South Bend fire investigators say a cooling system malfunctioned, sparking a blaze at a meatpacking plant this past weekend, and in an update on Tuesday said damage was more than $4 million.
Shortly before 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, firefighters were called to Plumrose Meats at 220 West Ewing when an employee saw smoke coming from the roof.
The fire was contained to a mechanical room, causing only $50,000 damage to the building but $4 million damage to contents at the plant.
The fire could not be investigated on Saturday due to a release of ammonia, although the probe was finished on Monday.
Nobody was hurt in the blaze. 5 workers were inside the building at the time of the fire.
No chemicals actually leaked into the air, but just to be safe, emergency crews evacuated people living nearby on Michigan and Main Streets. They were concerned that homeowners may inhale ammonia fumes from the warehouse.