Possible arson at Valley Meat

July 30, 2013 • Local News

Fire crews responded to a suspicious fire Saturday that apparently was started near a generator at Valley Meat Co.’s plant on Cedarvale Road near Roswell. (Jill McLaughlin Photo)

Fire officials responded to a suspicious fire Saturday that burned part of the exterior of Valley Meat Co.’s building and damaged a refrigeration unit.

But the possible arson still won’t stop the country’s first federally permitted horse meat processing plant since 2007 from opening Monday if a court hearing finds in its favor this week.

“That does not appear to alter the company’s plans to open,” said A. Blair Dunn, attorney for Valley Meat Co.

Chaves County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Britt Snyder said fire officials were investigating the incident.

“The fire was very suspicious,” Snyder said. “It certainly appears that it was deliberately set.”

East Grand Plains Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to the scene.

The plant remains idle, as owner Rick De Los Santos waits on the outcome of a hearing at 10 a.m. Friday in Albuquerque.

Chief Judge Christina Armijo, of the U.S. District Court of New Mexico, is expected to rule Login to read more

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