Meat company vows to rebuild after fire

Australia's third largest meat processor has vowed to rebuild and support its workers after a multi-million-dollar fire destroyed sections of its major abattoir operations east of Adelaide.

Livestock are being moved as dozens of firefighters battle a blaze at a SA abattoir.

Livestock are being moved as dozens of firefighters battle a blaze at a SA abattoir.

The blaze, which continued to burn in a basement on Thursday, was ruled accidental and caused by a worker using a welder who ignited an offal bin at the Thomas Foods International operations near Murray Bridge.

The full cost to the company's operations was yet to be determined but the damage was thought to be limited to the boning rooms and storage facilities in the four-storey building with the main slaughter floor largely unaffected.

Chief executive Darren Thomas said his family was just glad that no one was injured.

He was confident the group could continue to meet its orders and contracts, both domestic and export, by shifting production to other facilities in the Adelaide Hills, and at Tamworth in NSW. He added he didn't expect consumers to notice any shortage of meat supplies.

"There's been no loss of life which is extremely important to us, being a family-owned business," Mr Thomas told reporters.

"There is certainly going to be some disruption to the Murray Bridge processing facility but at this stage, it is too early to say for how long.

"My main concern and focus now is the welfare and wellbeing of our staff.

"They are part of our family. So in their time of need, we're not going to be walking away from them."

Mr Thomas said some of the 1400 staff at Murray Bridge could be redeployed and it was unclear if any jobs would be lost.

Metropolitan Fire Service assistant chief officer Phil Kilsby said the blaze continued to burn in a basement and firefighters would use excavation equipment to pull sections of the building apart to gain better access.

He said the operation to completely extinguish the blaze could run well into Thursday night.

At the height of the fire on Wednesday night part of the roof collapsed as 100 firefighters battled the flames, pumping water from a nearby lagoon.

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