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The Amalgamated Dairies Limited warehouse in Summerside, P.E.I. (Mark Pineo/CBC)

There was a major fire Saturday at the Amalgamated Dairies Limited warehouse in Summerside, P.E.I.

The fire started at about 7:30 a.m. local time. Thick smoke was seen blowing across Highway 1A and nearby residents were warned to stay indoors and keep windows shut.

Police and the Department of Transportation had shut down Route 1A at Read's Corner to all traffic.

The roads reopened late Saturday afternoon.

There were no employees inside the building when the fire started in the warehouse.

The CBC's Donna Allen said it appeared that half the building may have been saved thanks to a fire wall.

The ADL warehouse employs about 40 people. The company is owned by the Atlantic Dairy Co-operative.

Jim Bradley, CEO of ADL, said the company will survive.

"Probably $2.5 million worth of stock in the building and it's the main distribution here for the food service side of our operation," he said. "Staff are going to be starting very shortly — they've got the two computer servers out of the office so we can get back into business as soon as we can."

No manufacturing is done at the building as the main plant is on Water Street.

"In terms of dairy farmers, there's going to be no impact on that, but it's going to be a challenge," said Bradley.

There were about 55 firefighters on scene earlier Saturday, but only a few were left by Saturday evening.

The building was still smouldering at about 6:30 p.m., but the flames had been put out.

The company said it would work to begin calling clients right away and getting new inventory to fill orders.

The building was insured, and the cause of the fire hasn't been determined.

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the ADL dairy processing plant was on fire. The frozen food warehouse caught fire.
    Aug 27, 2011 1:38 PM AT