Yuengling factory operating despite weekend fire - FOX 13 News

Yuengling factory operating despite weekend fire

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

A fire at the Yuengling Brewery in North Tampa could have been far more damaging and won't cause the factory to close, a plant manager said Sunday.

"We'll be able to fix it and we're very fortunate people," Manager Jim Helmke said outside the factory.

The fire started late Saturday evening and took firefighters hours to extinguish while they battled hot spots. Damage is estimated at $1 million.

Helmke said the cause came with a bit of irony: a crew welding the fire escape to the building accidentally sparked the flames.

The fire spread to the upper beams of the roof, but was mostly contained to the southwest corner of the plant but spared the inside of the building.

"We'll be making beer in the morning," Helmke said, adding the two workers who were there when during the fire were not hurt and the beer was not damaged. "This is a very isolated part of the building. It's a place where beer is set and aged. It turns out none of our aging beer was even close to the source of the fire."

A Tampa firefighter was hurt responding to the fire but has since been released from the hospital.

The plant employs roughly 70 people, but none will be forced to take time off of work due to the fire.

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