WINNSBORO, TX (KLTV) - Almost 24 hours after a fire forced the evacuation of an area surrounding a Winnsboro feed mill, residents and business owners were allowed back to home and work on Wednesday morning.
Joe Holt works just down the street from the feed mill at Winnsboro Hardware. He tells KLTV he was concerned on Tuesday after learning of the fire at Valley Feed Mill.
“It was pretty hairy there for a while,” said Holt. “It could’ve been really bad. We’re fortunate that it wasn’t any worse.”
Holt says the memories of the 2013 explosion in West, Texas were top of mind as they watched the smoke fill the sky. Despite the evacuation, work continued across town as hardware store employees unloaded a shipment of lumber off-site.
Meanwhile up the road, Ed Griffin was working at his body shop when he heard fire trucks speeding by and saw the dark smoke.
“We knew there was something serious going on," said Griffin. "We just didn’t know what magnitude to be concerned at that point.”
Griffin says police suggested he close his shop up as they worked to contain the fire. After monitoring the air quality overnight and throughout the morning, Griffin and other business owners were able to head back to work around lunchtime on Wednesday. He says now it’s all about playing “catch up.”
“It’s hard to get back and fill everyone in on the story and maintain business flow,” said Griffin. “It’s been a bit of a challenge."
Valley Feed Mill declined to comment, although it appeared the business was back open after officials lifted the evacuation order.