A massive blaze gutted a meat processing plant in Burlington, Ont., sending up an enormous cloud of smoke that blanketed the area and triggered several road closures.
Fire crews were called to the Tender Choice Foods building at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, near Highway 403 and the QEW. A total of 14 fire vehicles and 40 fires attended the scene to fight the blaze, which consumed approximately half of the industrial building.
Burlington Fire Chief David Lazenby said crews quickly moved to contain the fire rather than going in to put it out.
“We fight the fire from the outside,” he told CTV Toronto. “We did that both for the safety of the firefighter and the fact that all people, all staff employees had been accounted for.”
Lazenby says there was also some concern about entering the building because ammonia tanks were known to be on the premises.
Employees at surrounding buildings in the industrial area were advised to stay inside due to the smoke. There was also some concern that it might blanket the nearby QEW highway during evening rush hour, but favourable winds prevented that from happening.
Witness Tim Dyson, who was leaving work at the time of the fire, said it broke out quickly. “It started getting heavier and heavier, and then we heard the sirens coming,” he said.
Firefighters remained on scene through the night.
Police say an inspector from the Ministry of the Environment has already investigated the scene, and the Ontario Office of the Fire Marshal is expected to launch its investigation Thursday.
The cause of the fire is not yet known.
With files from CTV TorontoHugefireOnt.meatplantblanketsareasmoke