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Crews respond to fire at R.A. Jeffreys distribution center

NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) - Clean up efforts are underway at a beer distribution plant in New Bern damaged by fire.

Officials are still trying to determine the cause of a fire that started at R.A. Jeffreys Distributing Company Wednesday morning.

New Bern public information officer Colleen Roberts said there was a lot of heat and smoke damage to the building, which will be factors in any kind of renovation, repair or rebuild.

Roberts said the recent snow temporarily halted the investigation.

"We have fire investigators that are still out there, and we just remind people, it's a huge facility and there was a lot inside so it is going to take some time to get through, but they are looking at hot spots and still trying to determine the total loss in damage to the building," Roberts said.

This came after plant workers reporting for work noticed the alarm going off and called 911 around 4 a.m. at the location on Red Robin Lane.

Multiple roads were closed due to the fire.

New Bern fire Chief Robert Boyd said the fire could have been a lot worse.

"Fortunately, there wasn't a whole lot of material inside the building, so basically we got just the contents up front," Boyd said.

No one was hurt in the fire, and it is being investigated by the fire marshal and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

The distribution center was not fully operational.

Employees said the plan was for it to be fully operation by February, making the timing of the fire devastating for the center.

About 40 employees work there, and plans were in the works to hire more.

R.A. Jeffreys Distributing Company is based out of Raleigh.


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