Manitoba

Massive fire destroys two drying kilns at Kenora Forest Products

An overnight blaze destroyed two kilns at Kenora Forest Products, sending flames shooting into the air where they could be seen from kilometres away.

No one was hurt, but the kilns were fully engulfed when firefighters arrived

Fire burns two drying kilns at Kenora Forest Products early Saturday morning. (Kaddie Vaughan/89.5 The Lake)

An overnight blaze destroyed two kilns at Kenora Forest Products, sending flames shooting into the air where they could be seen from kilometres away.

Emergency crews were called to the lumber company just after midnight Saturday morning. 

Two drying kilns in a single building were engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived, said Kenora Fire Chief Todd Skene.

"They were full at the time," said Skene. "I think the cold, the extreme cold was a contributing factor, you know, everything works harder."

About 20 firefighters, including volunteers with the Pellatt United Firefighters, were called in to fight the blaze and keep it from spreading, and the temperature, which dropped to a frosty -32 C overnight, didn't help, said Skene.
The fire from Kenora Forest Products could be seen from far quite away. (Imre Horvath/Facebook)

"We just controlled it from expanding further, and we let it burn down and burn itself out."

Firefighters were on scene for about eight hours, he added.

"They did a wonderful job last night, battling the cold and the fire," said Skene. "I'm proud of how they handled it."

No one was hurt, said Skene, and damage is estimated at about $850,000. With such extensive damage, Skene said they're not sure they'll find a cause, but so far the fire has not been labelled suspicious.

The plant manager for Kenora Forest Products told CBC he hoped to have more information later Saturday afternoon.

About the Author

Elisha Dacey

Journalist

Elisha Dacey is a journalist with CBC Manitoba. She is the former managing editor of Metro Winnipeg and her work has been seen in newspapers from coast to coast. Reach her at elisha.dacey@cbc.ca.