Warehouse fire in Courtland [Update]

Published 2:11 pm Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Hancock Peanut Company -- Cain Madden | Tidewater News

Hancock Peanut Company — Cain Madden | Tidewater News

COURTLAND—After being at the fire all night Wednesday, emergency crews were working to prevent extension and rekindles in the Hancock Peanut Company warehouse as of around 3 p.m. Thursday, said Major Gene Drewery, spokesman for the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office.

The fire is no longer openly burning, but there is still smoke coming from it, said Drewery.

They are trying to get the peanuts out of the building in an effort to stop the spread of the fire to another warehouse, he added.

Drewery also said he did not know if the warehouse could be saved at this point. He could not say if anyone had been hurt during the fire. But an official with Southampton Memorial Hospital confirmed that three firefighters were treated and released for undisclosed reasons.

Virginia 35 is blocked from the Highway 58 overpass to Main Street in Courtland to non-residents.

The sheriff’s office got the call Wednesday at 12:08 p.m. that one of the peanut warehouses was on fire, Drewery said. It is unknown at this time the cause of the fire.

Despite repeated attempts, no one could be reached by press time for an update on the situation.

The Hancock Peanut Company was founded in the early 1940s by a Courtland-based family. Harvey Pope, who had worked for the company since 1945, purchased it in 1980. Today, the Hancock Peanut facility is owned by Jimbo’s Jumbos, Inc., of Edenton, N.C. Jimbo’s Jumbos is a subsidiary of Meherrin Agricultural and Chemical Company in Severn, N.C.

When called for comment, no company spokespeople were available.