Despite the devastation the fire caused, it pales in comparison to a 1988 fire at a Southern Produce Distributors warehouse at the exact same location.
“It was a total loss that time,” Oglesby said. “You always have a lot of fear of it once you’ve experienced it. If you see smoke, you always think it’s yours.”
The cause of the 1988 fire was probably sparks from welding equipment, Oglesby said. Investigators have not determined a caused for the current blaze.
As the company did after the 1988 fire, Southern Produce Distributors plans to rebuild.
“We’ll definitely rebuild. We’ve got to. We’ve got too many people looking to us for sweet potatoes,” Oglesby said.
The timing of this fire gives the company some slack. Oglesby said a new warehouse will just need to be finished in time for the fall crop.