Fire at Heartland Colony destroys plastics plant

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Fire at Heartland Colony destroys plastics plant

Plumes of thick black smoke rose from a fire that destroyed a building at Heartland Colony Farms Thursday afternoon.

Fire crews responded to a blaze at the Hutterite colony near Hazelridge, Man. just before noon, said Springfield fire chief Jeff Hudson.

"It was completely engulfed when we arrived on scene," he said. "There was nobody in the building when the fire started. I guess that was the delay in the response and reporting it."

No one was injured and all residents of the colony have been accounted for, say Manitoba RCMP.

Hudson was the first to arrive on scene. After seeing the extent of the fire, he called crews in from Beausejour and other fire halls in the area, he said.

At one point, there were 35 firefighters on scene fighting the fire at Heartland Colony Farms, located just east of Birds Hill Park in the rural municipality of Springfield.

Thursday's fire completely destroyed the farm's large commercial plant, which manufactured plastic building cladding, Hudson said.

The firefighters focused on keeping the fire under control and protecting other buildings on the property, letting the commercial plant fire simply burn out.

Fire crews expect to remain on scene for several more hours to extinguish the fire and determine what caused it, Hudson said.

He believes at this point the fire was accidental and damage is estimated at $2 million.