Canada Fire destroys Burlington's Paletta meat-processing plant

18:52  07 december  2017
18:52  07 december  2017 Source:   Toronto Star

Crews battle multiple-alarm fire at Burlington warehouse

  Crews battle multiple-alarm fire at Burlington warehouse Firefighters are battling a multiple-alarm fire at a meat processing plant in Burlington, near the Queen Elizabeth Way and Appleby Line.No fire crews have yet been able to go inside and are fighting from outside the building, according to the Burlington fire department.

Firefighters from three municipal departments were called to Paletta International Corporation near Appleby Line and the QEW after the blaze broke out around 4:10 p.m. Wednesday.

A large fire at the Paletta International building in central Burlington has resulted in major damages to the facility. Emergency crews were called to the building, located at the southwest corner of Appleby Line and the QEW

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A massive fire has destroyed at least half of the Paletta meat-processing plant in Burlington.

Firefighters from three municipal departments were called to Paletta International Corporation near Appleby Line and the QEW after the blaze broke out around 4:10 p.m.

“The whole east side of the building has been more or less consumed by the fire. Our focus now is in trying to protect the west side of the building,” Burlington fire chief David Lazenby said around 9 p.m. at the scene.

Angelo Paletta, president of the longtime family firm, said the fire had left him “in shock.”

“It’s definitely not the Christmas present I was looking for,” he told The Spectator.

All workers that were in the large building at 4480 Paletta Court when the fire started made it out without injury.

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Fire and smoke is seen shooting out at the Paletta meat-processing plant in Burlington. No one was injured in the fire but the building was destroyed. © Graham Paine Fire and smoke is seen shooting out at the Paletta meat-processing plant in Burlington. No one was injured in the fire but the building was destroyed.

No firefighters were injured, either, Lazenby said.

“That’s the biggest consideration for us.”

Normally, between 150 and 200 workers are in the building where turkey, chicken and pork are processed, Paletta said.

“Today, they were doing some maintenance, repairs … Thank God there wasn’t a lot of staff there today.”

Firefighters from Oakville and Hamilton were asked to help the Burlington department fight the blaze. Hamilton’s Box 43 canteen truck was also on hand.

At the height of the fire, about 40 firefighters were on scene, said Lazenby, noting Burlington had 14 apparatus on scene alone.

Aerial trucks continued to blast water high onto the glass building late Wednesday as wind blew heavy smoke to the southeast.

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Earlier, the City of Burlington asked residents to “travel safely” with the smoke hindering visibility and traffic clogging up during the rush hour.

Police closed Toronto-bound ramps of the QEW at Appleby Line for the operation. Appleby Line between Fairview Street and Harvester Road was also closed to traffic.

Halton Regional Police said there was a report the blaze had spewed ammonia fumes in the area.

“They were concerned there may be ammonia, but there’s nothing confirmed,” Sgt. Steve Dawson said.

The city asked residents near the fire at Appleby Line and South Service Road “to keep their windows closed.”

Paletta International Corporation moved to Burlington in 1964 and built the 15,000-square-foot meat plant alongside the QEW. In 2013, Paletta built a 90,000-square-foot freezer on Glover Road in Hamilton.

The firm has also developed residential units, buildings and expanded into film, media and entertainment.

Angelo Paletta said the fire department wouldn’t let him near the burning building Wednesday night. “I’ll probably know more in the morning.”

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Black smoke and bright flames could be seen shooting out of the massive three-alarm industrial fire at the Paletta International Corporation.

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Paletta said he didn’t have any idea what might have started the blaze.

Lazenby said it was too early to speculate on a cause. It was also premature to estimate a dollar figure for the damage, he noted.

“It would be significant just because of the sheer size and scale of the building. Unfortunately, I think the dollar loss will be significant.”

Ontario Fire Marshal investigators were expected to start their probe into the cause Thursday provided it’s safe to enter the charred ruins.

The building, which is made out of a variety of materials including glass on its shiny façade, has industrial space and offices.

By 9 p.m., a large section of the upper part of the building had been destroyed as hoses continued to wet the remaining structure.

Lazenby said firefighters would likely remain on scene the entire night targeting flare-ups as parts of the roof section flattened onto one another, creating “stubborn” pockets.

“Crews did a great job of working in very challenging conditions.”

On Twitter, Burlington firefighters thanked “brothers and sisters from neighbouring cities” for their help.

tmoro@thespec.com

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Source: http://ca.pressfrom.com/news/canada/-56282-fire-destroys-burlingtons-paletta-meat-processing-plant/

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