A fire that broke out at a Nestle Hot Pockets plant in Jonesboro, AR on March 16 had the facility still closed as of March 21, according to a company spokesperson.
The blaze reportedly began at around 4:30 p.m. on March 16 and took nearly 24 hours to extinguish, battled by approximately 30 firefighters in rotating crews.
Local news reports said the facility — which was opened in 2002 — suffered "significant damage" to a new Hot Pockets production line that was just added in 2021 in a $100 million investment.
The facility has over 800 employees.
FIRE: Firefighters are here at Nestle in Jonesboro.— Imani Williams (@ImaniWilliamstv) March 16, 2022
I don’t see flames from the outside, but I do see smoke and employees standing outside in the front.
I can also hear the fire alarm going off from the inside of the facility @Region8News pic.twitter.com/uZFBeKNdAI
A Nestle spokesperson said no employees were injured in the fire, and that the factory will remain closed as the company assesses the damage and returns to full operation there.
"We plan to continue to support our employees financially during this time," the spokesperson added. "We are in direct contact with our employees and will continue to provide them with updates."
Reports cite fire crews saying that, upon arrival to the scene, they found a fire inside a large piece of a production cooler, and that due to its construction makeup, the fire couldn't easily be accessed. Crews reportedly heard a loud explosion from the building and were "forced to stage back," and fight the fire from the building's exterior.
Besides Hot Pockets, the plant makes frozen foods for the company’s Stouffer’s, Lean Cuisine, DiGiorno and Tombstone brands.