Fire won't affect harvest process

A spokesperson with GenCanna said an explosion and fire at its Winchester plant wouldn't have any affect on certain stages of processing this year's hemp harvest at the site.

"It won't have any impact on the drying or extracting of the hemp, specifically of the hemp harvest that we're doing now," Kathryn Robertson, vice president of external relations, said Friday.

According to The Winchester Sun, in a Kentucky Press News Service article, Clark County Fire crews were dispatched to the GenCanna headquarters Thursday night. Fire Chief Ernie Barnes told the newspaper that when crews arrived there was a large fire, but they were able to quickly knock down the flames.

Robertson said there were approximately five employees in the building at the time of the fire, but none were working in the refinement area where the fire occurred.

"We're very fortunate everyone got out and no one was injured," she said.

Robertson credited the fast action of the Clark County Fire Department, Winchester Fire Department, first responders from the Lexington area, and Kentucky State Police with stopping the blaze and being able to salvage two other sections of the building.

The Associated Press reported Friday that Kentucky State Police, the state fire marshal, and the Winchester Fire Department will investigate what caused the explosion and fire.

The Winchester GenCanna plant is where locally harvested hemp has been transported for processing. Its Mayfield processing facility, located on U.S. 45 North, has been a receiving site for hemp during this season. Robertson said GenCanna is nearly halfway through the harvest.

Eric Walker is the news editor for The Mayfield Messenger. He has also worked as a staff writer for the Messenger, editor for the Murray Ledger & Times, and in public relations. He is married with two sons.