A ferocious fire Thursday night left only charred remains Friday at a manufacturing plant in Lillington.
The fire broke out at the old Champion Homes Plant on Jim Christian Road around 8 p.m. Thursday. Residents said they heard booms when the fire took off and what sounded like firecrackers.
“It was huge – flames were really high,” said Danette Price, a neighbor. “I was taking pictures just as fast as I could go because it’s been an old building that’s stood here.”
The plant currently manufactures pallets, but it used to manufacture mobile homes. Workers from RGC Construction, a neighboring business, said the building was being leased by Sandhill Consolidated Services and that anywhere between seven and 50 people were employed there, depending on the season.
“I’m sure it will be a loss,” said Jackson Byrd with the Summerville Fire Department. “Anybody that has a job now hates to lose a job so I’m sure it’ll be a blow to them. But hopefully the company can recover and find another facility and help the people and they’ll have another job.”
Fire officials said fighting the fire itself was a challenge since there were no hydrants nearby. More than 100 firefighters sought to control the blaze and three suffered injuries. Two were sent to the hospital and released; the other suffered only minor injuries.
“The hardest part was getting it surrounded and the water sources and getting everything organized to it where we could actually get to the fire where we had collapse issues and things of that nature,” said Assistant Chief Bodie Currin. “And then we’re also hauling water from a next available hydrant. That’s the purpose of having all the tankers and resources here,” he added.
Officials said every unit from Harnett County responded.
“I thought that it was going to reach the house and we were going to have to go stay with somebody,” said Lily Price who lives near the plant.
Investigators are still looking into what cause the blaze.
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