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FFs from 3 Ga. counties battle manufacturing plant blaze

Nearby residences were evacuated during the fire at Georgia Crate and Basket in Thomasville

By Jill Holloway
Thomasville Times-Enterprise

THOMASVILLE, Ga. — Thick smoke clouded portions of Thomasville on Wednesday morning, as firefighters battled a blaze at Georgia Crate and Basket.

According to Courtney Stubley, Senior Accountant at Georgia Crate & Basket, the fire began at approximately 4 a.m., nearly two hours before the first line of manufacturing employees came in for their shift. The on-site security guard then alerted Thomasville Fire Rescue to the situation.

TFR quickly responded, receiving backup from first responders across three counties to help extinguish the massive fire.

Those in nearby residences were evacuated due to the smoke, as Worldwide Ministries of Christ Church opened up a temporary shelter to provide breakfast to those in need.

Beyond the initial smoke inhalation, no one was injured during the fire.

“Given the circumstances of the unfortunate fire that took place at our manufacturing plant, we are extremely blessed that no one was injured,” said Bolling Jones IV, President and CEO of Georgia Crate and Basket Company, in a press release.

Jones IV went on to say that despite the damage to the structure, the warehouses and large inventory they had on site were not affected.

“We have already increased our production at our other facility and should be back shipping to our amazing and loyal customers by the weekend,” he said.

Jones IV noted this would not have been possible without the quick response by all area agencies.

“We would also like to extend a huge thanks and gratitude to the Thomasville Police Department, City of Thomasville staff and community members, Thomas County Fire, EMS, and Sheriff’s Office, City of Camilla, Moultrie, Tifton, Lee County, Lake Park , Valdosta and Lowndes County Fire departments and Archbold Memorial Hospital for lending personnel and equipment to help,” Jones IV said.

The CEO additionally thanked the numerous churches and community groups who set up shelters for neighboring residences that were negatively impacted by the fire and the 400 ft. ceiling height cloud cover.

As the oldest family-owned business in Thomasville with over 130 years in business, Jones IV concluded by asking for continued support and prayers in the days ahead, as the fire was not extinguished until nearly 7:20 p.m. on Wednesday night , roaring on for 10 consecutive hours.

The cause of the fire has still yet to be determined.

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