CLARK COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) — An explosion that led to a fire Thursday night left behind significant damage to industrial hemp farm GenCanna Global in Clark County.
Friday, we saw the aftermath of that fire at the agricultural technology company that processes hemp.
GenCanna Global’s CEO tells us about the scary moment he found out one of his main production facilities was in flames.
“My phone started just running crazy, you know, going crazy.Mmy wife screamed in the background and so we have a nine month old, so I thought ‘Oh, you know, is it the baby?’ and it wasn’t our son, Sam, it was our other baby. It was GenCanna. And so it was worrisome to say the least,” says CEO, Matty Mangone-Miranda.
Investigators say five employees were working near the explosion site.
“There were people in a couple of the surrounding rooms but it’s well insulated and luckily nobody was hurt,” says Senior Site Leader at the GenCanna Hemp Research Campus, Chris Stubbs.
They have no clue what could’ve caused the explosion but know that it did happen inside one of the production laboratories.
“This is where we process the industrial hemp extracts to pure compounds as well as formulate value added products,” says Stubbs.
Meaning it’s where CBD oil is extracted from the hemp plants. The CEO calls it a “pretty meaningful structure”.
A structure with a lot of chemicals. Because of that, Clark County’s fire chief says the fire was a little more dangerous.
The potential damage costs?
“Millions, it’s yeah, challenging because it’s a set back in various ways, you know, structural or equipment, business, all of it. We’re not sure yet what it is, what it looks like,” says Mangone-Miranda.
Despite that, the company is looking ahead with optimism.
“We will survive. We will make it happen. We will work fast. I think everybody will be shocked to see how fast we are up and running again. We’re a very nimble group,” says Mangone-Miranda.
The cause is still under investigation.