County Fire Department investigating cause of Sexsmith grain elevator fire
The County of Grande Prairie is now working to identify the cause of a blaze that took down one of the iconic grain elevators in Sexsmith Tuesday night.
Fire Chief Everett Cooke says the Fire Department still has control of the site until the investigation is done, which could take some time.
“We have to collect witness statements, photographs, and then also do a dig on the actual site. When that’s done, the site will be turned over to the property owner, which is Viterra, and it’ll be up to them to rectify and clean the site up.”
The call came in around 7:30 p.m., and Cooke says it wasn’t until midnight that the blaze was fully contained.
Although they were battling high winds, a good snow cover helped stop stop sparks from igniting more fires, as they blew up to eight blocks away.
“Right from the get go, it was identified that it would be a very hard battle to win, and the focus should be on saving the adjacent structures, which included a second grain elevator, which was only about 100 feet away, as well as the town’s historic train station, which was just across the track.”
A small fire started at the top of the adjacent elevator, but they were able to extinguish it.
Cooke also credits the public for its cooperation, saying he didn’t hear of any issues with bystanders getting in the way.