Old grain elevator burns down
Published Monday, September 17, 2012 4:57PM MDT
The grain elevator in Okotoks served the community for decades, but it burned to the ground in minutes after it caught fire on the weekend.
Okotoks firefighters say the blaze was fully involved when they arrived just after 11:00 p.m. Sunday night.
Fire crews say it was luck that there was no wind to spread fire to structures and trailers stored nearby.
The burning elevator collapsed onto the railway tracks and CP Rail suspended traffic on the active line.
The line was reopened and just before noon Monday, the first locomotive made its way past the site with no problems.
A large track hoe was brought in to move the debris around so hotspots could be located and doused.
Fire investigators say the elevator was not in use and that it will be some time before they know what happened.
“We haven't even been able to get in there. We have the track hoe that's been here since 6 this morning, we've had crews on since 11 pm last night, and we're still going through, we haven't narrowed anything down from an investigation stand point,” said Okotoks Fire Chief Ken Thevenot.
The town says that the grain elevator was privately owned and there are no plans to acquire and restore it.