Fire tears through meat processing business in Balzac
The north building of Balzac Meats, a meat processing facility south of Airdrie, was destroyed in a late night fire.
Fire crews from three different districts were called in to battle a blaze at Balzac Meats, north of Calgary late Friday night.
Crews were called to the scene of the facility located just north of CrossIron Mills at about 11:45 p.m.
William Clarke, district chief with Rocky View County Fire Services, says once crews were called to the scene, they spotted flames coming out of the roof of the business’ main building that houses its freezers and sales area.
“Once they arrived on scene, first arriving crews noticed flames actually coming out of the roof at a certain point of the structure itself.”
He says that crews were met by a single employee, who was closing up the shop at the end of the night and had called in the fire.
Clarke says that by the time they got there, they were coming at the situation defensively.
“Once arriving crews could see flames going through the roof, you start to wonder about structural integrity and stuff like that. With these somewhat older Quonsets, they’re like a wood-type construction and it doesn’t take much for fire to go to the roof from one of the structure to the other. We err on the side of caution when it comes to that.”
Crews did have a challenge to fight the fire because the property doesn’t have any hydrants, but Clarke says they employed a method that involved cycling apparatus in and out from two pools of water nearby.
While the main building of Balzac Meats was destroyed, crews were able to recover some of the products.
“Crews were able to go in and do some salvage and get some belongings out of the north side of the Quonset, but that was only a small window they were able to safely do that before the rest of it became fully involved.”
Clarke says the investigation into the cause of the fire is underway.
“This will be investigated for quite some time because there is a considerable amount of damage. The structure has collapsed pretty much on itself. There are a lot of metal products from the roof, so it’s going to take a while to sift through things and hopefully determine the cause of this fire.”
No one was injured in the blaze.