Belfast rallies around workers displaced by fire that destroyed Penobscot McCrum potato plant
Environmental and fire crews continued to assess the Penobscot McCrum factory site this weekend after a massive fire took down the potato processing plant on Thursday. The Department of Environmental Protection has been monitoring the ammonia tanks at the property to ensure their stability. The US Environmental Protection Agency was checking the perimeter of the fire zone for ammonia and other hazardous materials.
Belfast City Manager Erin Herbig said residents can feel confident that experts are on site, and that McCrum employees will be taken care of. "The biggest concern right now is the workforce," Herbig said. "One hundred and thirty-eight people worked there, some of them for decades, so this is a big deal for our community and our surrounding communities."
Herbig says the state Department of Labor Rapid Response Team will be meeting with workers on Monday to help them with resources like unemployment. Herbig says the McCrum family is meeting with the city on Tuesday to discuss clean-up and rebuilding on the site. "Penobscot McCrum has been a mainstay in this community for a long time, and has a lot of history here," she said. "All signs from the family indicate they plan to rebuild."