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Fire rips through Tupling Farms potato facility

March 11, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Michelle Janzen


The main processing facility and offices of Tupling Farms located in Melancthon went up in flames shortly after 1:30 am on the morning of Tuesday, March 7.

Firefighters with the Mulmur-Melancthon Fire Department responded to reports of a large fire inside a building at the potato farm on Mulmur-Melancthon Townline and by the time they arrived on scene, the 45,000 square-foot facility had collapsed.

Fifty firefighters from five fire departments were called in from Shelburne, Dundalk, Clearview, Rosemont and Adjala Tosorontio to assist in fighting the blaze, which took six tanker trucks to haul water to the rural area. The crews finally brought the blaze under control about 9 a.m.

“There were about 1,000 skids located inside the building which helped to fuel the fire,” says Mulmur-Melancthon Fire Chief Jim Clayton. “Upon arriving on the scene, our biggest concern was protecting the other storage facilities located only 30 feet to one side of the fire and a two-storey home located on the other side. We are just happy the wind was not blowing a different way or this could have been a lot worse.”

With an estimated $3 to $4 million-worth of damage, the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal has been called in to investigate. Although it is not known at this time how the fire began, Clayton said it is not being treated as suspicious.

At 2 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, there was a forensic investigator was on scene with three excavators moving debris making sure there were no more hot spots.

There were no injuries reported and Clayton assured the Shelburne Free Press that there would be a fire watch at this location overnight in case of any flare ups.



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