Thanksgiving Travel Weather

Workers escape fire in eastern Henrico warehouse

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- A machine fire at the Fareva plant on Darbytown Road was brought under control before sunrise Monday. Firefighters were called to the eastern Henrico facility at about 4:20 a.m.

More than 25 workers were able to get out of the warehouse unharmed, Assistant Henrico Fire Chief Kevin Bartal said.

Henrico Fire Crews arrived about four minutes after the call and found a machine on fire. The warehouse sprinkler system helped contain fire, Bartal said. Due to the amount of smoke in the facility, a second alarm was called at 4:37 a.m.

"Personnel entered the building with hoselines and found heavy smoke conditions throughout. Making their way through the low-visibility conditions, they were able to find the fire, which was located at a piece of machinery," Henrico Fire spokesperson Captain Taylor Goodman said. "The building’s sprinkler system was keeping the fire from spreading as rapidly, but two fire department hoselines were required to fully extinguish the blaze."

Eventually, 45 firefighters responded to the fire to help get smoke out of the large warehouse.

"Ventilation of the large business was a challenge, requiring of smoke removal through the roof," Goodman added. "Four companies partnered together to strategically place their fans to move the air, a task which took nearly three hours to fully accomplish. Because of the amount of smoke, it took about two-and-a-half hours to mark the incident under control."

More than 500 people work at the Fareva Richmond warehouse.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Fareva Richmond produces "aerosol ingredients for products such as spray-on sunscreen and dry shampoo," the Richmond Times Dispatch reported in 2016.

Fareva took over the plant from Pfizer Inc.

This is a developing story. Witnesses can email news tips and photos here.