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Sep 21, 2012 11:42 PM by Steven Albritton

Abbeville Rice Co-op Up In Flames, Firefighters Were Ready

It took an entire parish worth of firefighters to battle this blaze.

"We have over 15 fire departments here in Vermilion Parish that all responded. We have also Youngsville and some surrounding areas that responded."

At least 100 firefighters showed up to help with the fire as it continued to burn into the night. The fire department has been preparing for a facility of this size to go up in flames. Monthly practice training at large facilities helped them be ready for an event like this.
Even with training a building like this is hard to get into.

"The fire happened so fast that we couldn't get inside to put it out. So we just had to surround it and throw water on it. And it just kept spreading from one building to another," Abbeville Fire Chief Mason Speer said.

Later on in the night, more back up was called. The Lafayette and New Iberia Airport Fire Departments were called in. They brought in foam trucks to help subdue the flames.

This whole time, Abbeville Mayor Mark Piazza was keeping an eye on power lines and a nearby electrical station.

"It was in jeopardy at one time of burning down, but it looks like everything is OK with that system right now."

As bad as the blaze was, the firefighters were ready and were able to eventually get the blaze under control. As of 9:30 p.m. Friday many trucks were leaving the scene and the Abbeville Fire Department was mainly dealing with hot spots with in the area.

"We have a well trained fire department over here. A lot of great updated equipment. We're very fortunate to have the fire equipment that we have."


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