By Lindell J. Kay | lkay@springhopeenterprise.com | 252-265-8117

BAILEY -— From the fire into the frying pan.

A hundred hogs saved from a fire at Custom Quality Packers last week were taken to processing facilities across the state to become ham and bacon.

“We asked other plants, ‘Hey, can you help us out?’ And they did. We are always ready to help each other,” said Andy Curliss, CEO of the North Carolina Pork Council.

The news may quash a tongue-in-cheek call on social media for the hogs to be given a reprieve for surviving such an ordeal.

“These pigs need to be pardoned,” Gil Wheeler wrote beneath a story about the fire on The Wilson Times’ Facebook page.

“Why? They’re pre-smoked,” Bobby Fuller replied, using six bacon emojis.

None of the Custom Quality Packers plant’s 22 employees were injured in the July 22 fire. 

Nash County Deputy Fire Marshal Chris Jenkins said he’s completed his investigation.

“We determined the origin and cause of the fire,” Jenkins said. “We turned the information over to their insurance company. I don’t want to say what we found until the insurance company has a chance to look at it.”

The hog plant fire is probably the largest in the Bailey area’s history, said Chief Chad Bissette of the Bailey Volunteer Fire Department.

“My guys did a good job,” Bissette said, also thanking all the firefighters from 11 other departments that responded to the five-hour conflagration.

Plant owners couldn’t be reached for comment. 

Curliss said he isn’t sure whether the plant will be rebuilt.

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Custom Quality Packers has been in business at the Friday Road site outside Bailey for nearly 25 years. 





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