A fire at the food processing plant of Greenberg Smoked Turkeys in Tyler has forced the company to suspend all orders just three weeks before Thanksgiving.
The fire happened Friday night and destroyed the company's inventory and its ability to ship turkeys, according to a post on its Facebook page. Greenberg Smoked Turkeys wrote it would refund all orders set to deliver after Nov. 6.
Paige Lewiecki’s memories of Greenberg Smoked Turkeys go back decades.
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"When I was kid, my dad would get them as Christmas gifts," she said. "And then 25 years ago when my husband and I got married, we immediately said well we’ll take care of the turkey every year."
The owners say a freezer holding more than 80,000 turkeys exploded. Nothing inside was untouched by the fire. The news spread far and fast among people who’ve counted on Greenberg for years, left wondering what to do.
There have been thousands of shares and comments on social media about what it meant to have a Greenberg as the centerpiece of holiday gatherings.
Lewiecki wasn’t going to give up so easy, and she got lucky.
"We immediately started calling Central Markets. Two was the most they would let you buy. So, he bought two today," she said. "Had we not, this would have been the first Thanksgiving in probably thirty years I hadn’t had a Greenberg Turkey."
Like so many others, Lewiecki says she’s hopeful that Greenberg will rebuild and come back stronger next holiday season. She also can’t help but think what must be on some many other's minds.
"It’s just 2020 all over again," she said. "It’s the most 2020 thing that could happen to Thanksgiving in Texas."
The fire happened after hours and no injuries were reported.
The company issued the following statement Saturday.
We have temporarily suspended customer orders due to a fire at our facility and we appreciate your patience as we continue evaluating the situation.
We are extremely grateful that all of our employees are safe and healthy. Additional updates will be shared here and on our website.
We are overwhelmed with gratitude for all the well wishes and prayers we have received.