RIPLEY, Tenn. (AP) — Fire has consumed a plastic recycling business in the West Tennessee city of Ripley.

Ripley Mayor Jon Pavletic told WHBQ-TV ( ) he was thankful there was no loss of life when the Allied Plastics reprocessing plant caught fire before dawn Tuesday.

The plant grinds plastic car parts into pebbles, which are then sold to manufacturers to be made into new auto trim parts.

City Recorder Donna Buckner said Tuesday that plant is about two miles south of the city's public square, which has been recently renovated.

Ripley is about 50 miles north of Memphis and has about 8,000 residents.

Pavletic said he worries about the loss of 20 fulltime jobs with the plant's apparent destruction, saying Lauderdale County has one of Tennessee's highest unemployment rates.

The blaze broke out around 5 a.m. Tuesday and fire officials said a lack of water hampered their crew's efforts to battle it. Firefighters from Ripley, Lauderdale County and Tipton County were called to the scene.

Thick black smoke billowed from the plant as flames consumed it.

Allied opened its operation in 2007 in what had been a garment factory.


Information from: WHBQ-TV,