Mountaire’s Selbyville plant to resume production Wednesday following April 23 fire

SELBYVILLE – Fire sparked by an electrical transformer failure Monday afternoon brought poultry processing to a halt and scores of firefighters to Mountaire Farms’ Selbyville plant.

Firefighters first arriving on the scene found heavy fire showing from the third-floor exterior area of plant, Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Harry R. Miller said.

The plant was in operation at the time of the fire, Mr. Miller said.

“All Mountaire employees were evacuated safely from the plant, and there were no injuries,” said Sean R. McKeon, Director of Communication and Community Relations for Mountaire Farms Inc.

Selbyville Volunteer Fire Company and other local companies received the alarm at 3:46 p.m.

Selbyville VFC Station 88 was assisted by Frankford, Roxana, Dagsboro, Millsboro, Millville, Bethany Beach and several other volunteer fire companies.

Sussex County Emergency Operations Center’s new mobile command unit also was on the scene.

Of major concern was the proximity of the blaze to a huge ammonia storage tank on the west side of the plant. Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Emergency Response unit was dispatched.

Dozens of Mountaire employees stood outside the Hoosier Street facility as firefighters brought the fire under control.

Ladder trucks were used to fight the blaze from a rooftop trajectory.

By 5:50 p.m., the fire was reported under control, Mr. Miller said.



“The fire was contained in the transformer area outside on the roof. The rest of the building, including the interior, was not affected,” said Mr. McKeon.

Total fire damage is estimated at $500,000, Mr. Miller said.

Investigation determined the fire occurred because of a malfunction in a power transformer, Mr. Miller said.

Closed Tuesday, April 24 following the fire, Mountaire expects to resume normal operations Wednesday, April 25.

“Mountaire would like to thank all first responders and those who acted quickly to this plant incident; we are blessed to have so many men and women dedicated to serving our communities,” Mr. McKeon said.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at

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