Fire at Batesville Chicken Plant Impedes Production

DECEMBER 15, 2006 - Posted at 7:24 a.m. CST

BATESVILLE, AR - Chickens being processed at the Townsends plant in Batesville came close to getting cooked a little earlier than usual.  The plant was shut down for about an hour Wednesday when the roof caught fire.

Company spokesman Murray Bryan said the cause of the fire wasn't known.  The fire broke out in the roof area of the plant where the chickens innards are removed.

About 610 people filed out of the plant while the Batesville Fire Dept. got the blaze under control.  Bryan said no one was injured.  Employees worked a partial shift that night, and Bryan said the plant ran yesterday at about 50 percent of its production capacity.  He said the plant should be back up to full operation by tomorrow.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)