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Wilson cotton supplier out millions of dollars after double fire

Published: Mar. 3, 2016 at 4:26 AM CST|Updated: May. 19, 2016 at 2:27 PM CDT
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WILSON, TX (KCBD) - Fiber Brite cotton supplier in Wilson has caught fire two separate times in Feburary, costing the plant multimillions.

The first fire was on February 7, and then reignited when wind blew hot embers in the leftover fiber on Monday.

Overall, plant manager Mike Tomlinson said they have lost about 34,000 bales of mote total.

On Wednesday, employees struggled to contain another hotspot in a burned mound that they thought had been extinguished for three weeks.

They have employees monitor these condition around the clock.

"We don't know what's under each of those," Tomlinson said. "We're going to have to get that hosed down tomorrow and all of it cleaned up to where it doesn't do this again."

Since Tomlinson started working at the plant in 2010, he witnessed two other fires in 2011 and 2014.

However, they did not lose multiple warehouses in those fires. In these fires they lost three warehouses and a main warehouse.

Tomlinson said they have plans to rebuild even better facilities by next fall. They will begin reconstruction in the next couple of weeks.

"We're going to make some changes to try to make sure that we never have another fire," Tomlinson said. "We've got to quit this."

Tomlinson said they will even use different procedures to keep their business and Wilson citizens safe.

"We want to be good neighbors, and we're a big part of the community," Tomlinson said. "We will remain here."

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