Chief: Fourth person safe and accounted for after Gaffney packin - FOX Carolina 21

Chief: Fourth person safe and accounted for after Gaffney packing plant fire

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Old Sunny Slope Packing Plant fire (source: Gaffney FD) Old Sunny Slope Packing Plant fire (source: Gaffney FD)
Flames continue to shoot from the building  (FOX Carolina/ Dec. 1, 2017) Flames continue to shoot from the building (FOX Carolina/ Dec. 1, 2017)
GAFFNEY, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The Gaffney fire chief said a woman was flown to the Augusta Burn Center after a fire at a former packing plant Friday morning. A teen was also injured. Another person was unhurt and firefighters said they confirmed Sunday that a fourth person was safe and accounted for.

PHOTOS: Firefighters battle large fire at former packing plant site

The fire was reported just after 6 a.m..

The fire department tweeted video showing massive flames coming from the Old Sunny Slope Packing Plant on Highway 29 when they arrived.

Chief Jamie Caggiano said the fire started in an apartment on the grounds, which quickly spread to other areas due to the construction of the building, which began as a peach packing shed in the 1950s and was added onto over the years.

At least three people were living in the apartment. Caggiano said a 14-year-old boy suffered minor cuts from glass, and an adult female was flown to the Augusta Burn Center with severe injuries. A man was able to get out uninjured. 

Caggiano said firefighters received reports that there may have been a fourth person living in the apartment. 

Firefighters searched the building once it was safe to enter and brought in a K-9 specially trained to detect human remains. 

On Sunday, Caggiano said investigators learned Sunday night that the fourth occupant was safe.

Caggiano said the one of the oldest areas of the plant collapsed and a big concern was the fire spreading to cold storage areas inside. He said his family once owned the plant and ended operations in the late 90s. The fire chief said the current owners use the facility to store clothing and shoes and other combustible materials.

By Monday morning, Caggiano said all firefighting efforts had ceased. He said more than 3 million gallons of water were used to fight the fire. Crews will continue to monitor the scene, which is expected to smoke and smolder for days.

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