By TODD GLASSCOCK
PALO PINTO COUNTY – Investigators have determined that a fault in the electrical system caused last month’s fire that ravaged the warehouse of the Kennedy Sausage plant off Interstate 20 and U.S. Highway 281 South, said Palo Pinto County Fire Marshal Buddy Harwell.
The March 25 fire started in the plant’s rear distribution center, and was fueled by cardboard and wrapping paper, quickly spread to engulf the center in flames, he said. He estimated about 30,000 square feet of the center had been damaged or destroyed.
The facility’s office area sustained minor damage but employees were able to recover some furnishings and electronics, he said.
Construction crews began cleanup and restoration shortly after the fire, said co-owner Jason Beyer.
“We hope to be back in operation by the first of September,” he said.
Tuesday afternoon at the plant, workers cleared bits of debris from the remains of the still blackened and charred center. Some outside walls and foundation are about all that remain of the warehouse.
The company has been keeping orders filled through distribution centers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Beyer said.
Although the plant’s distribution center is closed until it is rebuilt, most of the company’s other business operations are intact, he said.
“You can come by here and get sausage and bacon,” he said.
The business relocated in 2011 from Weatherford to a former livestock sale barn property that it renovated, using, in part, funds provided through a 20-year, interest-free Texas Capital Fund loan of $560,000 secured by Palo Pinto County through the Industrial Foundation’s efforts to help the company relocate.