Nothing says "Happy Holidays!" like the waft of starchy sweet potatoes baking in the oven and filling the house with their rich aroma.
For the residents of a small North Carolina town, it's looking like the smell of the holidays will carry on from Thanksgiving right through to Christmas.
More than two weeks and 25 million gallons of water later, a fire which began in a silo filled with dehydrated sweet potatoes rages on in the North Carolina town of Farmville, the Associated Press reports.
It's worth noting that North Carolina produces more sweet potatoes that any other state and, while the dried sweet potatoes were eventually going to end up in an array of pet foods, nearby humans have been inhaling a delicious smoldering smoke reminiscent of holiday baking.
At this point, it's not clear when or how the fire was ignited, but Farmville town manager David Hodgkins told the Associated Press that it would seem that the sweet potatoes had not been properly dehydrated by Natural Blend Vegetable Dehydration, the company that owns the two silos.
"Some dehydrated sweet potatoes in the silo got wet over the summer before drying and solidifying, and the company tried drilling holes to dislodge the hardened mass—which may have created a spark," Hodgkins told AP.
And this hardened mass is presenting quite a challenge for local firefighters. "It's been described as harder than concrete," Hodgkins added. As a result of the incessant flames, Hodgkins said that firefighters were forced to continuously spray water from the side, and have now downgraded to mere 10,000-gallon sprays into the top of the silo.
Because of what appears to an oversight on the part of Natural Blend Vegetable Dehydration, it would appear that they will have to pick up the bill for the extra water that had to be bought from a nearby county.
"What they're trying to do is allow the silo to burn itself out," Hodgkins told AP, which does not bode well for anyone who is getting sick of the smell of sweet potatoes. So while it's not exactly clear when this fire will finally subside, residents might want to consider starting a nearby marshmallow fire to embrace the holiday baking smells filling the air.
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