WHAT WE KNOW

  • A fire broke out at Swickers Bacon Factory about 7.45am Sunday.
  • The boning room and meat chillers were damaged in the fire.
  • An exclusion zone placed around the scene has been lifted as at 6pm Sunday.
  • There were no injuries from the fire.
  • Mayor has called the fire a "significant concern" for the South Burnett.
  • Swickers is one of the biggest employers in the South Burnett, and has about 600 workers.
  • The factory has been operating in Kingaroy for more than 50 years.
  • Swickers wants to have the undamaged areas back up and running within a week.

THE exclusion zone around Swickers Bacon Factory has been lifted as the company deals with the impacts from the fire.

Kingaroy Police officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Duane Frank advised that the exclusion area would be lifted at 6pm Sunday if the area was declared safe.

Sunpork group CEO Robert van Barneveld said the boning room and meat chillers were damaged in the fire, but contingencies were in place to deal with the issue.

The damage at Swickers bacon factory this afternoon.
The damage at Swickers bacon factory this afternoon. Katherine Morris

Swickers intends to have the undamaged areas of the factory back up and running within one week.

Mr van Barneveld and general manager of operations Linchon Hawks met with the Local Government Disaster Group on Sunday afternoon to discuss the fire.

Swickers employees met for a private meeting at Kingaroy Town Hall on Sunday night.

SUNDAY 4PM: CREWS are now working to dampen hot spots and the fire is in its final stages. 

One crew will remain at the scene overnight to ensure there are no flare ups. 

The exclusion zone is still in place, but the public is no longer being asked to keep windows and doors closed. 

The cause of the fire is still not known.

Fire investigators and police are investigating. 

SUNDAY, 1PM: THE exclusion zone around Swickers Bacon Factory will remain in place for the remainder of Sunday following the fire on Sunday morning.

It will be reassessed this evening.

Residents within this area are advised to remain inside with windows and doors closed.

If anyone is experiencing any breathing difficulties seek medical advice or call 000 for assistance.

The Local Disaster Management Group will meet this afternoon to coordinate medium and long term management of the impacts from this event.

South Burnett Regional Council Mayor Keith Campbell said the fire was of "significant concern" for the entire region.

In a post on Facebook, Swickers HR manager Bec Humphrey said a meeting would be held for Swickers employees at the Kingaroy Town Hall from 6.30pm Sunday.

The meeting is strictly for employees.

SUNDAY, 11AM: FIRE crews could be working into the night to contain the fire at Swickers Bacon Factory.

A Queensland Ambulance Service spokeswoman said an emergency support unit and senior operations supervisor had been dispatched from Toowoomba.

He said there were no casualties from the fire.

SUNDAY, 10AM: AN EXCLUSION zone is active in Kingaroy as firefighters continue to battle a fire at Swickers Bacon Factory.

Residents should avoid Haly St from Murphy St, Redmans Rd from Kingaroy-Barkers Creek Rd and Tessmanns Rd up to Doonkuna Street.

EARLIER: MULTIPLE Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) crews are on scene at a commercial structure fire which broke out around 7.45am on Kingaroy Barkers Creek Road, Kingaroy.

Black smoke could be seen rising from the area, and loud bangs could be heard from adjoining streets.

Nearby residents should close windows and doors and if suffering from a respiratory condition, keep medications close by.

People are urged to avoid the area as firefighters work to extinguish the fire.

 A representative from the QFES said they had five crews on the scene with a further six on their way.

"We were called out to Barkers Creek Rd to a commercial structure fire," she said.

"It was fully engulfed in fire when we arrived on scene, and police have set up an exclusion zone as well.

"There's significant smoke in the area."

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