Managers grateful for community support after Petersburg Cotton Gin Fire

Updated: Nov. 27, 2019 at 10:08 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The Texas A&M Forest Service is reporting that the fire at the Petersburg Co-Op Gin is now fully contained as of Wednesday night.

The 55-acre fire, which was reported to the forest service just before 4 p.m. Tuesday, engulfed more than 20 modules of harvested cotton.

Plains Cotton Growers estimates the cost of the modules at three to four thousand dollars each.

Several surrounding fire departments responded to the fire, working to prevent it from spreading to nearby homes and neighboring corn fields.

Myles Ramsey, the manager of Petersburg Co-Op gin, said with the winds gusting like they were, it did not take long before the modules caught on fire.

“We had a farmer that probably had a little hot spot, whether that was a spark, something on their machine, and they didn’t realize it,” Ramsey said.

Ramsey estimated the wind to be about 55 miles per hour Tuesday night, which he said made it nearly impossible to contain.

“If it hadn’t had been windy and it just broke out, we could’ve moved that one, got it away from the rest of them and just contained that one and it wouldn’t have been a big deal,” Ramsey said.

Ramsey said, although it sounds bad, it could have been a lot worse.

“Luckily, where that module was sitting there wasn’t a whole lot around it. If it had happened more on the west side of our yard with the west wind blowing, it could’ve caught a lot more of the yard on fire,” Ramsey said.

Seven different fire departments from surrounding areas responded to the fire. Ramsey said he is thankful for how the community came together to help.

“Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and you just remember what you’re thankful for and the good support of community and around is a lot to be thankful for,” Ramsey said.

Ramsey said the yard is pretty much all cleaned up, they are working now to re-organize all of the modules that were moved.

He also said the co-op is insured, so the farmers will be made whole.

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