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Blaze destroys grain elevator in southwestern Saskatchewan

Feb. 1, 2017, Prelate, Sask. -  About 100 people had to leave their homes as fire destroyed a grain elevator in southwestern Saskatchewan.


Jason Gizen, a volunteer firefighter in Prelate, a village about 385 kilometres west of Regina, says he rushed to help after seeing the elevator engulfed in flames around 5 a.m. Tuesday.

He says other volunteers were already there, but there wasn't much they could do except make sure the embers didn't start anything else on fire.

Gizen says the flames were getting close to several rail tanker cars parked near the elevator, and not knowing what was inside the cars, cars, firefighters opted to evacuate about 100 people.

The evacuees were allowed to return to their homes once the rail cars were moved.

Gizen said the fire was allowed to burn through the day, and the elevator was a total loss.

He said many in the community were taking the loss of the building hard, as it was one of the last functioning elevators in the area.

"There's a lot of good memories there, growing up as a kid taking grain in with my dad and different things, and all the people that worked there. It's a pretty sad day here. But nobody was hurt, so I guess that's the main thing."

Gizen said there's still no word on what might have caused the blaze.

February 1, 2017
By The Canadian Press

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