A Nebraska woman has been arrested on arson and other charges in connection with an April 5 fire at a broiler farm owned by Tyson Foods.
Kimberly Bohling, 52, Tecumseh, was arrested on April 18 on suspicion of second-degree arson, criminal mischief, animal cruelty and burglary, Deputy Nebraska State Fire Marshal Alyssa Sanders said during a telephone interview. Bohling was booked into the Johnson County Jail in Tecumseh.
Sanders said that 22,000 birds were lost in the fire, but she did not offer any estimates on damages, saying the fire marshal's office typically leaves such estimates up to the insurance companies.
Tyson Foods earlier stated no people were injured in the fire.
Worth Sparkman, spokesman for Tyson Foods, said in an email to WATT Global Media that the company was aware that an arrest was made, and that the company was assisting authorities as they conduct their investigation of the fire. The state fire marshal’s office said the investigation was continuing and that people with information related to the incident are encouraged to call +1.888.922.7766.
Tyson Foods in June 2018, acquired the assets of Tecumseh Poultry, also known as MBA Poultry. Included in that acquisition was the air-chilled Smart Chicken Brand, two plants – one located in Tecumseh and the other in Waverly, Nebraska, as well as live operations.
At the time of the acquisition, Tecumseh Poultry was the 26th largest broiler company in the United States, according to the WATTAgNet Top Poultry Companies Database, having processed 2.6 million pounds of ready-to-cook chicken on a weekly basis in 2017. Later in 2018, Tyson Foods, already the largest broiler company in the United States, further expanded its presence in the U.S. poultry industry with the acquisition of Keystone Foods.
In addition to being a top broiler company, Tyson Foods is also the fifth largest turkey company in the United States and a major processor of beef and pork products.