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Eight fire departments respond to warehouse fire

A massive warehouse fire sends flames and smoke into the air above Campbellsville.

The fire broke out just before 5:30 Tuesday morning at the old Fruit of the Loom plant. It's located to the west of Campbellsville, near the Taylor-Green County line.

"It's a part of history. I mean, it's a shame," said Linda Roberts, who was once a seamstress when the massive building housed Fruit of the Loom.

Fire crews responded to the scene after an explosion was heard at the plant. It was so loud, it could be heard a mile away. Emergency management officials say there were several other explosions from propane tanks, used to power forklifts.

Firefighters from eight different departments were called in to help battle the flames. It took about four hours to bring the fire under control.

The nature of the burn required an almost exclusive air attack. And the fire came at a time when the Campbellsville Fire Department was temporarily without an aerial ladder truck. Luckily, Columbia was able to supply one.

ABC Childcare, which is near the building, was evacuated and closed for the day, but will reopen on Wednesday.

The building is about the size of a football field. Officials say about a fourth of the building was destroyed by the fire.

"But we still have small spot fires that are continuing to get into the un-burnt part of the structure," said Campbellsville Fire Chief Allen Johnson.

The plant, which used to be used by Fruit of the Loom, at one time employed 3,500 people. It closed in June of 1998.

Since then, it has been used for storage. Air filter parts from the local Clarcor plant were stored there.

There were no injuries reported from the fire.


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