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Massive fire rips through apple packing plant in central Washington

WENATCHEE, Wash. — A fire in central Washington state destroyed an apple packing plant late Friday and into Saturday but firefighters saved a nearby cold storage building.

Chelan County Fire District 1 spokesman Rick Isaacson says flames shot from all four sides of the 200-foot long, two-story building when firefighters arrived just after 8:30 p.m.

He says the roof of the Phillippi Fruit Co. building collapsed within an hour.

Firefighters suspect the fire had been burning for some time before a passer-by noticed smoke and alerted authorities.

About 50 firefighters and some 15 vehicles including three ladder trucks fought the flames, but the building is a total loss.

Firefighters remained at the scene Saturday awaiting excavators to put out smoldering areas.

Isaacson says no one was injured, and the cause hasn’t been determined.