Hilmar Cheese Resumes Operation After Fire at Texas Plant

May 11, 2010 06:34 AM

Hilmar Cheese Company's processing plant in Dalhart, Texas, is back in operation after a fire broke out yesterday afternoon in a refrigerated storage building that was under construction at the facility.


All employees and contractors were safely evacuated and there were no injuries, Hilmar said in a news release.


Fire departments from Dalhart and nearby towns quickly contained the fire, whose origin has not yet been determined.


Production at the plant was halted as firefighters brought the blaze under control. The plant returned to full operation at 6 p.m. (CST)


The company said high winds in the area "proved both a problem and benefit as they pushed the fire into the edges of nearby fields, yet also kept the fire from spreading beyond the new construction area and limiting smoke damage.”


Company personnel are examining structures for damage and also assessing products in storage and under manufacture for any fire impact.


Hilmar Cheese Co.'s Dalhart facility is the company newest plant. Completed in 2007 and expanded in 2008, the state-of-the-art cheese and whey protein plant processes up to 5 million pounds of milk each day. 


The company also operates a dairy processing plant in Hilmar, Calif.

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