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Ferriday cotton gin catches fire twice

ROD GUAJARDO / The Natchez Democrat — Firefighters from Concordia Fire District No. 2 respond to a fire call Saturday night at Tanner & Co. on U.S. 84 in Ferriday. The cause of the fire is still unkown.

FERRIDAY — Crews with Concordia Fire District No. 2 responded twice to the Tanner & Co. Cotton Gin in Ferriday Saturday and Sunday night after a warehouse containing seed and cotton caught fire.

District Fire Chief Nolen Cothren said the cause of the fire is still being investigated, but that the most likely culprit was a spark from an electrical motor that sucks air out of the warehouse.

“There’s really no other electricity going out there at all, so that’s what we’re thinking could have done it,” Cothren said. “That’s still being investigated though.”

No one was inside the warehouse when the 15 firefighters responded to the fire with three fire engines and two water tankers at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Cothren said.

“When we first got there, there was fire all in the top of it, and cotton is hard to put out anyway,” Cothren said. “One of the guys that works there lives real close and started smelling something burning and saw the flames coming out of the warehouse.

“Cotton has a nasty smell to it like an old pigsty.”

Only one engine responded to the warehouse Sunday at approximately 5 p.m. and Cothren said his crews quickly extinguished the flames.

Owner Buddy Tanner said an assessment of what had happened and the extent of the damage to the warehouse was still unknown.