ST. CHARLES, Mo. – Thick smoke could be seen billowing from the Coca-Cola plant in St. Charles, after several tractors and trailers caught fire at the facility.
Firefighters said 10 tractors and two trailers were destroyed in the fire.
“Anything that is going to be an auto component burns very hot, burns very fast, and produces a lot of smoke,” said Capt. Kelly Hunsel, St. Charles Fire Department. “So, I know we had reports of seeing the smoke from as far away as Maryland Heights, folks that could see it from the airport, and even west past Zumbehl Road.”
She said investigators are still looking into how the fire started.
“Vehicle fires present kind of a different set of problems or challenges, especially when you have commercial vehicles involved,” Hunsel said. “So, here today, we actually had to deploy foam, which is something we use on extremely flammable objects.”
Hunsel said windy conditions spread the fire across Elm Point Industrial Rd.
“We kind of had to divide forces. We sent a few crews to handle the brush fire, other crews stayed here to handle the main body of the fire. So, it was kind of an all-out effort,” she said.
Hunsel said the majority of the damage was in the Coca-Cola parking lot.
“The tractors themselves, you can see a bit of their frames are left, not much of them. There were also some trailers involved,” she said. “I’m kind of hearing some of them may have been empty, some may have been partially loaded, so we’re not really sure how much product was lost.”