Fire destroys iconic grain elevator from TV show Corner Gas

·3 min read
The famous grain elevator in Rouleau, Sask., burned to the ground Friday morning. (Jecey Buburuz/Facebook - image credit)
The famous grain elevator in Rouleau, Sask., burned to the ground Friday morning. (Jecey Buburuz/Facebook - image credit)

The famous grain elevator in Rouleau, Sask. — known from the Canadian comedy show Corner Gas — was burned to the ground Friday morning.

It is still unclear how the fire started, according to the Rouleau Mayor Grant Clarke.

Nobody was injured, Clarke said.

Fire crews were called between 2 and 3 a.m. CST, he said.

"It was fully engulfed by then," said Clarke.

"All they could do is contain it…. There was no way that they could put the fire out."

Kirk Fraser/CBC
Kirk Fraser/CBC

Fire trucks from the communities of Pense and Wilcox also responded. Farmers helped by hauling water in tanks, according to Clarke.

"It was a good community effort," he said.

"But it was kind of a sad thing to see it burn."

The structure eventually collapsed, said Wayne Rumford, Chief of the Rouleau & District Fire Department.

During the day fire crews were still out, looking for hot spots with an excavator, according to the mayor.

"They just did some repairs to [the elevator]," said Clarke. "It's quite a loss."

Kirk Fraser/CBC
Kirk Fraser/CBC

There was no grain in the elevator when the building burned down, according to co-owner Lance Bean.

Now he and his family have to clear up the property, which is leased from Canadian Pacific Railway, he said.

"It was a bit of a shock last night."

"Dog River," the name of the fictional town in the show Corner Gas, was painted across the famous Saskatchewan landmark. It was the last grain elevator standing in the town of Rouleau, said the mayor.

Kirk Fraser/CBC
Kirk Fraser/CBC

"We are deeply sorry to hear the news that the grain elevator in Rouleau, Saskatchewan is no more," said the executive producers of Corner Gas, Brent Butt, Virginia Thompson and David Storey, in a written statement.

"On behalf of the entire Corner Gas crew and community we send our love to the town of Rouleau. We're thankful that the majestic Dog River Grain Elevator has been captured for posterity in the Corner Gas sitcom, movie and in the animated series."

According to Clarke, there are not many buildings left in town that can be associated with the TV show Corner Gas.

"This is one of the most important [buildings] because it's so easily visible from the highway," he said.

"It had Dog River on the side of it, and some people would say, 'I'm in Dog River.' They didn't realize that they were actually in Rouleau."

Alexander Quon/CBC News
Alexander Quon/CBC News

The history of the grain elevator

Saskatchewan's most famous grain elevator was built in 1973, according to Mayor Clarke.

Bean said he and his family bought the building in the mid-1990s, when the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool was closing down its smaller grain elevators in the province. They initially used the grain elevator for storing and cleaning grain.

"Over the last few years, we haven't been using it that much," said Bean.

"We are in the process, actually, of trying to sell it. But I think that process is over now."

It has been sad to see more and more small towns in Saskatchewan losing their grain elevators, said Bean.

"I can remember when this one was being built," he said.

"It's a changing of the times."

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