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Fire at Kenora mill destroys two kilns

The Kenora Fire Department spent several hours battling a blaze at Kenora Forest Products that destroyed two kilns.

KENORA, Ont. - Fire crews in Kenora were kept busy Friday night and early Saturday morning as they battled a fire at Kenora Forest Products that destroyed two kilns.

According to Kenora City Fire chief, Todd Skene, a passing Ontario Provincial Police officer spotted the flames at the mill and notified the fire department.

Fire crews arriving shortly after midnight discovered a building housing two kilns was fully involved in flames.

“We worked on protecting exposures around it,” Skene said. “In the end, we protected all the buildings around it and let the building burn itself out.”

Skene added that as of Saturday evening, the fire is still not completely declared out and crews remain on scene monitoring the situation.

There were no reports of any injuries and there is no word yet on the cause of the fire. Skene said due to the extensive damage the building sustained, it will take some time to determine how the fire started.

The mill is a major employer in the city of Kenora, however, despite the damage, Skene said he met with Kenora Forest Products management and mayor, Dave Canfield, and he believes the mill will be operational again very soon.

“They will be back up running to the capacity they were,” he said. “It will affect them a little bit because they are down to one kiln. They should be back up by end of next week.”

Six pumpers responded to the fire, along with crews from rural fire departments. While it wasn’t the biggest fire Skene has battled, the cold temperatures of nearly -30C made the job a challenge.

“The crews did well despite the temperatures,” he said. “We had three trucks freeze up.”

Doug Diaczuk

About the Author: Doug Diaczuk

Doug Diaczuk is a reporter and award-winning author from Thunder Bay. He has a master’s degree in English from Lakehead University
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