Firefighters from nine departments battle blaze through the night

A J&B Produce warehouse caught fire on Sunday and took 26 hours to extinguish entirely. Photo courtesy Stephanie Earls.

It was possibly the biggest fire Moore Volunteer Fire Department has ever seen in their district…For 26 hours, nine volunteer fire departments and 65 volunteer firemen battled the blaze at J&B Produce through the night and well into the next day this past Sunday/Monday beginning at about 1:30 pm Sunday. According to Moore Volunteer Fire Chief JD Earls, smoke from the fire could be seen from over 30 miles away.
“The building was about the size of a football field, and the fire was right in the center of the building where an estimated 55,000 plastic containers and about 30,000 boxes were being stored,” Chief Earls said. “J&B Produce is a packing shed where farmers bring their produce to be packaged and shipped to the grocery chains.”
“The roof was about 20 foot high in the center, and the fire rose about twice as high,” Chief Earls adds.
The metal building collapsed on top of it about an hour after the fire began, making it even more difficult to fight the fire.
“That is why it took so long to get to that center section and get it 100 percent extinguished. The backside of the building will most likely have to be torn down, but we were able to save sections of the building containing a lot of expensive equipment including tractors, large coolers, and the conveyor belt,” Chief Earls added.
J&B Produce is located in Moore’s fire district off PR 1900 between Frio Town and the Zavala County line, but as stated earlier the smoke from the Frio County blaze could be seen for miles and miles.
“This was the largest fire I’ve seen in Moore during my ten years with the department,” Chief Earls said. “I personally saw the smoke from Lytle when we were being paged out about 1:30 on Sunday. The owner said he saw the smoke all the way from Hondo, and the Dilley firefighters saw it from Dilley.”
A big thanks to all of the emergency responders who so generously volunteered their time and efforts to be there in our time of need, responding to emergencies like these. Volunteer Departments responding to this call were Moore VFD, Pearsall VFD, Bigfoot VFD, Dilley VFD, Devine VFD, Natalia VFD, Yancey VFD, Uvalde VFD, and Sabinal VFD.
Fires like these remind us all how important our volunteer departments truly are, and Chief Earls invites anyone interested in volunteering with Moore VFD to call him at 830-444-6238 or to find him on Facebook.
If you are interested in volunteering with Devine VFD, Chief Mike Walker can be contacted at 830-665-4246, and they can also be reached on their Facebook page Devine Fire/Rescue.
By Kayleen Holder