Roads reopen as firefighters battle pockets of fire at Burlington meat plant

Firefighters battled a multiple-alarm fire at a meat processing plant in Burlington, near the Queen Elizabeth Way and Appleby Line.

Fire broke out at meat processing plant in Burlington on Wednesday evening

Fire crews remain at the scene of a multiple-alarm fire in Burlington on Thursday morning, battling pockets of flame under the collapsed roof. (Chris Mulligan/CBC)

Roads in the area of Queen Elizabeth Way and Appleby Line in Burlington have reopened following a multiple-alarm fire that broke out late Wednesday afternoon at a meat processing plant. 

Burlington Fire arrived at Tender Choice Foods plant at 4480 Paletta Court just after 4 p.m. on Wednesday. 

As of 10:00 a.m. Thursday morning, fire crews were still battling pockets of fire. 

"The roof collapsed down onto the second floor of the building which has caused us a lot of problems in that we now have deep-seated fire underneath the roof structure," said Burlington Fire platoon chief Dennis Hayes on Thursday morning. "We're continuing to dump water onto the fire to attempt to extinguish those hot spots." 

The fire broke out late Wednesday afternoon and continued overnight. (David Ritchie)

Both Hamilton and Oakville fire departments sent firefighters and equipment to assist the 14 Burlington fire apparatuses on the scene on Wednesday. Volunteer firefighters were also called in to help.

The Ministry of the Environment attended as well.

Hayes told CBC that heavy machinery will eventually be brought in to take the building apart under the direction of Ontario's Fire Marshal, who is expected to arrive at the scene later this morning. 

Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring said everyone from the plant and the scene has been accounted for.


Burlington Fire Chief Dave Lazenby praised the building's evacuation.  

"I commend building management for their quick thinking in evacuating their buildings quickly and efficiently. I am pleased that no one was hurt and everyone was accounted for," said Lazenby in a statement Thursday.

The Burlington Fire Department wants to send their gratitude to their neighbouring fire departments for helping to respond, she said. 

"Thanks to the collaboration and efforts of our crews, volunteers, staff and our neighbouring fire departments from Oakville and Hamilton, we were able to contain the fire during the night," said Lazenby. 

Residents in the area were advised to close their windows due to the amount of smoke caused by the fire.

Commuters and passersby have shared photos and video of the fire on social media.

Freelance videographer Andrew Collins captured heavy smoke and flames pouring from the building Wednesday afternoon:

The Paletta family established their business in Burlington in 1964.

Goldring says since then they have been strong community supporters of various organizations such as Joseph Brant Hospital and the Carpenter Hospice.

"Tender Choice Foods is active, not only in the local business community, but also supporting community events and organizations," said Goldring. "On behalf of the city and council, I am sorry for their loss and will be thinking of them and their employees during this challenging time."