Pasco-based Oregon Potato Company announced Friday it was permanently laying off 62 employees at Warden-based Washington Potato Company, which caught fire in late January. The layoff notice was posted on the Washington State Employment Security Department and was effective as of Friday, Feb. 5, reports Charles H. Featherstone for the Columbia Basin Herald.
No other details were given, and the company said “no comment” in response to a request for further information.
Washington Potato was destroyed by fire, which began the evening of Jan. 21, and burned all night. Firefighters from multiple agencies in Grant and Adams counties responded to the fire, which smoldered for several days.
The fire is believed to have started in a large potato dehydrating drum. The facility produced dried potato flakes used to makes instant mashed potatoes, as well as dried potato slices and chunks used in soups and other instant potato products.