Fire destroys Woolmarket packaging business

Fire destroys Woolmarket packaging business

22 January 2011

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USA — Firefighters worked into the night Friday in Woolmarket after a grass fire spread, destroyed a packaging business and threatened a neighboring diesel business on Parkers Creek Road.

“If we get out of here by midnight, we’ll be lucky,” Fire Chief David Roberts said.

Firefighters responding to a call before 2 p.m. found a small grass fire, Roberts said, but it spread quickly. Flames engulfed Young Packaging Supplies, which the fire chief described as “a warehouse full of cardboard and plastic and shrimping supplies.”

“By then, our main concern was protecting Johnson Diesel,” he said. “We were able to accomplish that.”

The fire came within about 10 feet of Dunnaway Signs, where workers gathered outside to watch.

By 6:30 p.m., firefighters had started pulling apart the remains of Young Packaging to reach “spot fires” and put them out.

“I have no idea what caused it,” Roberts said.

“The rumor is it started as a grass fire and went into the building.”

The Woolmarket exit off Interstate 10 was closed temporarily. Parkers Creek Road is just north of I-10 on the east side of Old Highway 67.

Young Packaging has an annual revenue of $1 million to $2.5 million and employs up to four workers, according to Manta, a business-directory website.

Manta shows Johnson Diesel, which escaped the fire’s wrath, has an annual income of $1.8 million and employees 13 workers.

The blaze was the department’s second major fire in less than three days.

Around midnight Tuesday, a fire of unknown cause burned down three businesses in Vieux Marche, the city’s downtown historic business district.

That fire started in Adventures Bar and Grill and spread to The Upstairs Downstairs lounge and Spanish Trail Books. Upstairs Downstairs was one of Biloxi’s oldest night clubs, in business for 33 years

Former Coast resident Alan Mallory on Friday told the Sun Herald he bought the building that housed Adventures in 1997 and had leased it to the owners of Adventures for 12 years.

“It was the charm and old elegance of the exposed brick walls and molded tin ceilings that initially attracted my wife and I to this property,” said Mallory, a charter captain in St. Croix in the Virgin Islands.

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