Fire, explosion at local candy factory that makes AirHeads

Published: Dec. 4, 2015 at 8:20 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 4, 2015 at 3:07 PM EST
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ERLANGER, KY (FOX19) - All employees are safe and accounted for after a fire and explosion early Friday at Perfetti Van Melle, 3645 Turfway Rd., fire officials said.

Flames were visible from the roof after an explosion in a silo just before 3 a.m.

Dust from sugar in the silo could have sparked the explosion and fire, Point Pleasant fire officials said.

The blaze was knocked down by 3:40 a.m.

Fire crews remained on scene for several hours monitoring for hot spots. They have since cleared.

Perfetti's president said 40 to 50 employees heard the explosion, quickly evacuated and are safe and warm in a nearby hotel.

No injuries were reported.

The cause remains under investigation.

According to fire officials, this is not the first time an explosion  and fire was reported at Perfetti, the world's largest manufacturers and distributors of confectionery and chewing gum with globally known candy brands including Mentos and AirHeads.

Pleasant Point Fire Chief Michael Giordano said an explosion occurred in a silo there in 2003. In that case, the only thing that burned were the flammable materials on the roof of the building.

FOX19 NOW has a crew at the scene and will continue update this breaking story throughout the morning with live reports on air and online.

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