Wayne County sausage factory burns down

The Herald-Dispatch/Lori Wolfe
Several firefighters respond to a fire at the Ballard’s plant on Monday in Wayne.

A sausage factory in Wayne County burned to the ground Monday morning.

Ballard’s Farm Sausage, located on Wilson Creek Road outside Wayne, went up in flames after fire spread from an office.

A Wayne County 911 dispatcher said a Ballard Farm Sausage employee reported a fire in one of the upstairs offices of the factory at 10:18 a.m. Monday. Firefighters arrived on the scene 20 minutes later, the dispatcher said. A photo from the scene showed the building fully engulfed in flames. There were no reported injuries.

Wayne Mayor Mick Sanders said although the factory wasn’t within the Wayne city limits, the loss will affect his city and the entire area.

“I was raised about eight or nine houses above (the factory) on Wilson’s Creek,” Sanders said. “Everybody in the area’s worked there at one time or another.”

Sanders said when he was younger, he worked in the salad house at Ballard’s as a summer job. His grandmother worked at and later retired from the factory.

The late Carlos R. Ballard Sr. started the company in 1946. Today, the company is run by third-generation president and CEO David A. Ballard. It has been located on Wilson Creek Road for 68 years.

“They went from a one-room slaughterhouse and turned into the big business that they are,” Sanders said. “It’s going to be weird to go up Wilson’s Creek to go up to my mom and dad’s and it not be there. It’s gonna be heartbreaking.”

The Herald-Dispatch reports 12 employees were in the plant when the fire began. The newspaper reports firefighters had to use tankers to fight the blaze because hydrant lines in the area were damaged.

According to the company’s website, Ballard Farm Sausage produces fresh salads, homemade salads, bologna and lunch meats, bacon, pepperoni, corn dogs and hog dog chili sauce, among other products. The store provides private-labeled products for 12 companies, including Kroger, Food City and Jungle Jim’s, according to the website.

Contact writer Marcus Constantino at 304-348-1796 or marcus.c@dailymailwv.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/amtino.

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