Smell of Burnt Sweet Potatoes Fills the Air of Small Town

Do you smell what I smell?
Sweet Potato

A silo of dehydrated sweet potatoes has been smoldering since Thanksgiving.

In Farmville, North Carolina, residents have been plagued by the smoke of (still) burning sweet potatoes. The smoke is not a result of holiday baking gone wrong but from a silo filled with dehydrated sweet potatoes.

The silo is owned by Natural Blend Vegetable Dehydration, which opened in 2014 and dehydrates sweet potatoes used primarily in pet food. Though it is not clear how or when the fire started, some speculate that the fire began when the company drilled holes to dislodge a mass of sweet potatoes that got wet before drying and solidifying, which might have created a spark.

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Farmville town manager David Hodgkins tells The Associated Press that firefighters, who have been on the scene since the fire became apparent on November 27, have sprayed at least 25 million gallons of water. It is still unclear when the fire will be extinguished. Hodgkins says, “What they’re trying to do is allow the silo to burn itself out.” Though Hodgkins assures the town of nearly 5,000 people that the smoke does not pose a health threat, residents are not happy and have issued complaints.