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Sheriff releases statement concerning investigation into deadly fire at PJ Trailers

Workers at PJ Trailers look on with dismay, as firefighters fight a large fire that took the life of one and severely damaged the manufacturing area of the trailer company. (eParisExtra photo by Josh Allen)
Workers at PJ Trailers look on with dismay, as firefighters fight a large fire that took the life of one and severely damaged the manufacturing area of the trailer company. (eParisExtra photo by Josh Allen)

Lamar County Sheriff Scott Cass released a statement this morning concerning the investigation into the deadly fire at the PJ Trailer Manufacturing Company that happened on Wednesday, August 13.

The sheriff informed in his statement that the origin and cause of the fire are still under investigation, and the deceased person found has not be positively identified at this time, although a forensic autopsy has been ordered.

According to the sheriff, the sheriff’s office received a ‘911’ call around 11:30 a.m. of an industrial plant fire at PJ Trailers in the Tigertown Community.

“Eleven local volunteer fire departments responded, including Paris Fire Department,” Sheriff Cass said. “Two additional volunteer fire departments responded from Fannin and Delta Counties, along with the American Red Cross.”

According to preliminary reports yesterday, the building had suffered major damage, and it was said that one sub-contractor working in the plant was unaccounted for during the fire.

fireFirefighters from the Tigertown VFD located a deceased person in the area close to where the fire was reported to have started, although the exact origin and cause of the fire remain under investigation, the sheriff said today.

The victim was pronounced by Justice of the Peace Tim Risinger, and the body has been sent to American Forensics in Mesquite for autopsy and forensic identification, according to the sheriff.

“PJ’s Safety manager reported to sheriff’s officials that all plant personnel was accounted for, excluding one sub-contractor who was working in the plant in close proximity to where it is believed that the fire started.”  Sheriff Cass said. “Investigators from the State Fire Marshal’s Office and Paris Fire Department were called to the scene and the initial investigation is on-going at this time.”

Pending positive forensic identification and the notification of ‘next of kin’, the name of the deceased will be released when made available.

By Josh Allen, eParisExtra

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