South Taranaki District Council has rejected a bid to save the chimney of the former Patea freezing works as a memorial.
Fire reduced the derelict meatworks to a wreck of twisted metal and asbestos-laden ash two years ago.
The site is being cleared and the 40 metre chimney is the only significant structure left standing.
Patea schoolchildren want the chimney kept as a memorial to the factory and the people who worked there, but council members on Wednesday decided against the idea by five votes to four.
A report pointed out cracks in the concrete and asbestos waste inside and suggested the fire could have significantly deteriorated the structure.