By CAITLIN CROWLEY
FIRE investigators will spend the day piecing together what sparked a fierce blaze at Jim’s Jerky factory at Charlton late yesterday afternoon.
The Warrego Highway was closed to all traffic near the O’Mara road intersection due to heavy smoke in the area, after flames spread to three gas bottles and a diesel tank at the much-loved family business.
The fire started just after 4pm, with all staff and customers quickly evacuated from the building.
Jim’s Jerky CEO Emily Pullen told the Caller, her main concern was for the safety of staff and customers and she was relieved to say no one was hurt.
“We want to thank all the emergency services who did an absolutely incredible job of keeping everyone safe,” Pullen said.
“We are lucky enough to have fire crews based just across the road at Charlton – within minutes they had dozens of personnel here and managed to contain the blaze to just one part of our facility. Absolute legends.”
Pullen said they were in the process of assessing the extent of the damage to their equipment.
The response from fans of the local jerky company was swift, with an outpouring of support for founders Jim and Cathie Tanner, daughter Emily and the Jim’s Jerky team on social media overnight.
“The support we have received from the community has been absolutely amazing and we want to reassure our customers Jim’s will be back up and running before you know it,” Emily Pullen said.
“But I think we can all agree chargrilled jerky isn’t for us!”