The director of Glenisk has said "basically everything" has been lost after a devastating factory fire ripped through the facility in Killeigh, Co Offaly this afternoon.
The fire broke out just after 11am and caused all 50 staff of the country's largest yogurt maker to be evacuated immediately.
The blaze is now under control after several units from the Fire Brigade attended the scene from Portarlington, Clara, Edenderry, and Tullamore.
Some members of staff required medical treatment for smoke inhalation but no serious injuries have been reported.
Assessing the damage and speaking to RTÉ, Glenisk director Gerard Cleary said the company is grateful to the emergency services and will look to see how the business can recover.
"It's devastating for all of us really at this point in time and we don't really know what to say.
"We'll just have to see what we have and what we can salvage and then just start again. That's all we can do.
"We're just grateful to all the services, the fire brigade and the ambulance. Luckily no one was injured in any way so we're very thankful for that," he said.
A cause of the fire has not yet been established but manufacturing equipment as well as stock has been lost in the blaze.
Commenting on the terrible fire, Fianna Fáil TD Barry Cowen offered his sympathies to all those impacted by the blaze.
Mr Cowen thanked the emergency services and said: "Everyone was relieved to hear that there had been no casualties reported, however the blaze appears to have caused extensive damage to the facility.
"Our thoughts are with everyone at Glenisk right now.
Black smoke could be seen billowing into the sky for some distance in the surrounding area as the emergency services fought to contain the fire.
Earlier this afternoon Glenisk, confirmed the safety of all employees this afternoon and thanked the emergency services for their help.
"Devastated to confirm a serious fire at our plant today. All colleagues safely evacuated.
"Their well-being is our priority. We will assess the damage and move forward.
"Heartfelt thanks to the Emergency Services," Glenisk said in a statement on Twitter.
Devastated to confirm a serious fire at our plant today. All colleagues safely evacuated. 🙏 Their well-being is our priority. We will assess the damage and move forward. Heartfelt thanks to the Emergency Services. ❤️— Glenisk (@Glenisk) September 27, 2021
There is also the risk that buildings not directly affected by the fire may have been subject to smoke damage.
Established in 1987, the yogurt company has grown to be one of the premier dairy brands in the country.
Last November the company reported record sales as Covid-19 lockdowns saw sales of the organic brand jump 50%.