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Fire Destroys Sunbury Cheese Plant

SUNBURY — Flames and giant clouds of smoke filled the sky in Northumberland County after a cheese plant in Sunbury caught fire. Jeremy Will lives nearby a...

SUNBURY -- Flames and giant clouds of smoke filled the sky in Northumberland County after a cheese plant in Sunbury caught fire.

Jeremy Will lives nearby and watched it all unfold. He said, "I had seen the roof lift off of the foundation and slam back down. Flames came off the side and then I seen the side of the building collapse."

Fire officials tell Newswatch 16 the fire started in the back of Sun-Re Cheese Corporation on Lenker Avenue just before 8 a.m. Sunday.

Multiple crews from around the area were needed to battle the fire.

Plant manager Patrick Bennett says many people rely on the plant for cheese products and the road to a rebuild could be difficult.

"It's a pretty bad fire. We don't know what we are going to see when we go in. We don't know what lies ahead. We do not know," said Bennett.

Plant managers add that this business has been a staple to the Sunbury community for many years and it employs about 50 people. Even though rebuilding and repairing the damage is going to be difficult, the silver lining is that no one was inside when the fire broke out.

Bennett added, "Too many lives at stake here. Yeah, it's a scary situation."

"Thank god no one was working today [Sunday]," said Will. "I just know a lot of people that work there and I feel bad because they are going to be out looking for new jobs by tomorrow."

There is still no cause to the fire. The fire marshal is expected to investigate on Tuesday.

Managers of the plant say they hope they are able to get back on their feet soon.