A CHICKEN rendering plant in Tamworth which erupted in flames last week will be rebuilt as a “matter of urgency”, according to the head of poultry giant Baiada.
Witnesses recalled hearing a thundering explosion before the Gunnedah Rd facility became engulfed by fire just before 9pm on Friday.
The plant, which employs 12 people, is a critical part of the local Baiada operation, taking poultry by-products, such as feathers and offal, and processing it into pet food.
Baiada chairman John Camilleri said the incident had caused “considerable headaches” for the
company. “We certainly want to rebuild as soon as possible and my understanding is council are being very supportive and are doing what they can to expedite the process,” Mr Camilleri said.
“This an integral part of our processing business and it’s paramount we get it up and running again.”
He said the processing was currently being undertaken by a third party, adding to the company’s freight and logistical costs.
Investigators continue to probe the cause of the blaze and Mr Camilleri said the company was at a loss to understand what sparked it.
“We’re really not sure whether it was an electrical fault or something different,” he said.
Baiada managing director Simon Camilleri said two staff members remained on site while others had been redeployed to other locations.
Tamworth police Acting Inspector Martin Burke said the damage bill was estimated to climb into the millions of dollars, as the company tallies the losses of stock, equipment, product and the building itself.
“Police aren’t treating the fire as suspicious,” he said.
“Police are investigating the circumstances and believe an electrical fault could have started the fire.
“A brief will now be prepared for the coroner.”