tyson grain silos

The Tyson Foods Grain Services facility is seen late Sunday evening. Crews have been trying to extinguish a smoldering fire that erupted Thursday.

A salvage company from South Dakota continues to assist Tyson Foods Grain Services with removal of soybeans that caught fire inside one its grain bins late last week.

The Elizabeth City Fire Department responded to a call of smoke coming from a bin at Tyson Foods around 4 p.m. Thursday, Fire Chief Chris Carver said in a news release Monday.

On their arrival, firefighters observed smoke coming from the number 3 grain bin. After a brief discussion, a Tyson crew began off-loading bushels of soybeans through small holes in the side of the bin, Carver said.

The fire was larger than originally thought, so to assist in the operation, Tyson officials requested assistance from Gregerson Salvage Inc., according to Carver.

Gregerson Salvage is based in based in Waubay, South Dakota, and specializes in agricultural commodities salvage, such as soybeans, corn and wheat, according to the company website.

The salvage company’s crew arrived on scene at around 9 p.m., Sunday, and crews from the city fire department and the Inter-County Volunteer Department are remaining on scene to extinguish any smoldering beans, Carver said.

Carver said it is unknown how long it will be before the fire is fully extinguished.

The Tyson grain facility is located just west of U.S. Highway 17 Bypass and is easily visible to passing motorists. On Sunday, a small fire was seen smoldering outside one of several bins at the site.

According to City Manager Rich Olson, each of the bins on the site holds about 250,000 bushels of grain, and there were an estimated 200,000 bushels of soybeans in the silo at the time the company alerted the fire department.

Worth Sparkman, a public relations manager for Tyson Foods in Fayetteville, Arkansas, said Monday that Tyson Foods is working with local firefighters and a third-party contractor to extinguish a fire in a grain silo on the site.

“There have been no injuries and we believe there is no threat of fire spreading outside of the grain tank,” Sparkman said in an email. “We appreciate the quick response and help from local firefighters. Once it’s out, we’ll assist the fire department in its investigation.”

Managing Editor Julian Eure contributed to this report.