5 people escape recycling facility fire
JACKSON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - Crews responded to a fire at Southern Wholesale Fibers Factory at around 11 a.m. on Wednesday in Higdon.
Owner Terry Romans said there were probably five people in there and they all got out. He said they don't know what exactly happened, but they saw a large amount of smoke and got out as soon as they could. They then saw the rear of the building fully engulfed.
Owens said the rear is separate from the factory and is a textile recycling plant where they recycle things like socks and other fabrics to use for things like mattress fillings.
The area that caught fire, however, was not the production portion but just a large storage facility behind the production area.
"I thought they had a bale on fire and they carried out back," said neighbor Edward Evans. "But then it just got worse and worse. Then the black smoke just started rolling by. It just got started real good and there just wasn't anything they could do."
Six volunteer fire departments responded to the scene and contained the blaze to the rear portion to prevent it from spreading to the main building.
The owner said he hopes to be operational again as soon as possible.