ST. GEORGE – Nearly 12 hours after a fire gutted a Frito-Lay warehouse in an early Monday blaze, firefighters were called back to the scene to put out a fire rekindled by high winds.
Around 4:10 p.m., just 10 minutes after a firetruck mopping up hot spots had left the scene of the torched warehouse at 1161 West 1240 North, they were called back.
Despite the area being soaked in water, wind can still rekindle small spot fires. In this case it started a small fire in a pile of pallets, St. George Fire Battalion Chief Darren Imlay said.
“We’ve had some 20 mile per mile, 30 mile per hour gusts,” he said, adding, “Just in 10 minutes in that wind, it kicked (a fire) right up again.”
The fire was put out with little trouble, though Imlay said the firefighters will check on the scene every 30-45 minutes for the rest of the day and throughout the night.
Fire crews were originally called to the Frito-Lay warehouse around 4:30 a.m. after an employee reported a fire.
Units of the St. George Fire Department were already in the area, having responded to an incident at the Albertson’s grocery store nearby.
“Upon our arrival we had fire through the roof of the warehouse and traveling quickly throughout the building,” St. George Fire Chief Robert Stoker said.
Multiple vehicles were also caught up in the blaze that ultimately gutted the warehouse and caused the roof to collapse.
“Our main concern was to contain the fire to the building,” Stoker said.
The property the warehouse sits on is surrounded on three-sides by other facilities seemingly just over the fence line, including multiple storage units behind it. Firefighters were able to keep the fire from spreading, though said there may be some potential water damage to the storage units due to run-off, Imlay said.
The cause of the fire is currently unknown and under investigation, Stoker said.
No injuries were reported in connection with the fire.
Rough estimates place damages at $100,000 loss in product with a new rebuild of between $300,000 and $400,000, Imlay said. The warehouse itself has been reduced to a burnt-out husk.
Snack food lovers need not weep over a potential shortage of tasty Frito-Lay brand goodness as the company also maintains a warehouse in Salt Lake City. [see Ed. note]
St. George News videographer Mike Cole contributed to this story.
This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.
Ed. note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly listed a Frito-Lay warehouse location in Hurricane, Utah.
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