Fire destroys Transwest Air hangar in Prince Albert

On Sunday night, fire crews in Prince Albert responded to reports of a fire at the city airport. The Transwest Air hangar began to collapse shortly after firefighters arrived.

Wooden structure was no match for raging fire

Prince Albert fire crews responded to a reported structure fire at the Prince Albert Municipal Airport around 11:24 p.m. CST. The building began to collapse shortly after they arrived. (Prince Albert Fire Department)

The Transwest Air hangar in Prince Albert succumbed to flame Sunday night. 

"There is nothing left," said Patty Hughes, who is with business development and marketing for Transwest Air. 

"It's a complete loss."

Fire crews responded to the scene around 11:30 p.m. CST. The department said the building began to collapse shortly after they arrived.

Hughes said she could not confirm how many or what type of aircraft were destroyed in the fire.

"We're currently assessing the loss of the contents in the hangar," she said. When asked how many aircraft are typically in the hangar, she said it ranges at all times.

"But yes, there were several aircraft. Anywhere it can be from two to upwards of six," she said, adding it's too early to determine the cost.

Hughes said the hangar was sturdy, but made of wood..

"Because it was a wooden structure it didn't take long for the fire to consume it," she said.

Transwest Air says it will not go ahead with expansion plans at the Prince Albert airport unless service at the facility improves.

The building also housed the company's head office and a maintenance facility, Hughes said. Several offices were destroyed. Even Hughes' laptop was lost.

Hughes said the company is already in the process of setting up operations at other locations. Business will resume as normal when it can, she said, although it will take some time to get things up and running again.

The Transwest Air hangar in Prince Albert served regions such as Saskatoon, La Ronge, Wollaston, Stony Rapids Uranium City, Points North and Fond du Lac. 

A spokesperson for the Prince Albert Police said both fire and ambulance were on the scene when they arrived. She said police continue to hold the scene today, but the fire department is leading the investigation. 

Clarifications

  • An earlier version of this story quoted Hughes saying the hangar had been built in 1926. She has since retracted that statement. It is unclear at this time when exactly the building was erected.
    Apr 16, 2018 2:13 PM CT