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Fire burns at Terra Bella plastics facility
Around 2 p.m. firefighters began using foam on the blaze and had the fire knocked down by about 2:30 p.m. Firefighters were expected to be at the incident for several hours.
Reporter Brian Williams reported from the scene that the blaze began when many of the employees were on lunch break. It began in a production area, but had spread to storage buildings.
"Workers said everyone got out safely," said Williams.
The company uses recycled plastic to make various-sized tubs for ranchers, farmers, nurseries and homeowners.
Williams said the fire was still burning out of control and spreading, but much of the old packing facility had not been damaged.
Because of the plastics burning, officials and workers were concerned of the health hazards the smoke might pose. Nearby residents were not being evacuated and more fire equipment was being requested an hour after the blaze began, although no residences were threatened by the fire.
Road 256 has been closed from Zion Lutheran School to the intersection with Avenue 96. Avenue 96 remained opened to traffic.
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City of Porterville and other agencies have been requested to assist in the fire. Porterville sent one engine.
A caller to The Recorder who was in the vacinity of Road 256 and Avenue 100, said she heard a loud explosion and then saw the smoke.
The fire began about 1 p.m.
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Fire units are responding to Tuff Stuff Products at 9600 Road 256 in Terra Bella for a commercial structure fire. Per dispatchers, all employees have exited the building.
Smoke can be seen from miles and has risen above cloud cover and an explosion was reported by residents half a mile away.
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