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UPDATE: Roof repair led to fire at chicken processing plant near Perry late Thursday

Heated tar ignited the roof of Perdue Farms chicken processing plant near Perry late Thursday along the Ga. 247 Spur.

Houston County Fire Department Assistant Chief Kevin Noles said about 200 workers were inside the cooking portion of the plant when the blaze ignited shortly after 10 p.m.

All of the workers evacuated safely from the building and were able to return in about an hour after crews knocked down the flames in about 30 minutes, Noles said.

"They were in the middle of a shift change, too," he said. "They just had an extended lunch."

The fire was contained over the administrative part of the building and resulted in about $5,500 in damages, Noles said. No one was working in that part of the building at the time, he said.

No workers or firefighters were injured, said Warner Robins assistant fire chief Randy Davis. The Warner Robins Fire Department sent their aerial ladder truck to the blaze and joined up to 50 firefighters on scene, Noles said.

Firefighters remained at the plant until about 1:30 a.m. Friday.

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