Fire damaged Tyson plant reopens - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Fire damaged Tyson plant reopens

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The Tyson plant in Storm Lake that sat idle for eight months after a fire has reopened.

The turkey processing plant was damaged in March by a fire that started in the dark meat room. The plant resumed production late last month.

"Thankfully, there were no injuries in the fire, but damage to the plant was extensive and portions required major renovations before it could safely operate," Ray Team, a manager at the facility, said in a written statement. "Storm Lake first responders did a great job helping us the day of the fire and we're grateful for their efforts. We also received an outpouring of support and offers of help from others in the community."

The company gave the Storm Lake Fire Department a $5,400 check on Thursday as a thank you for the help they received.  The fire department will use the money to buy new equipment. 

The turkey plant, which was part of The Hillshire Brands Company when the fire happened, became part of Tyson Foods in late August when Tyson purchased Hillshire. Tyson also owns and operates a pork plant in Storm Lake.

All of the employees at the plant were paid and received medical benefits while the plant was being rebuilt. Many of the employees were involved in clean-up and rebuilding efforts.

The white meat processing area is up and running and the company hopes to have the dark meat area up and running in January.

Tyson Foods will employ about 2,600 people in Storm Lake between the two plants once the turkey facility returns to full production.

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