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Mitchell-area fruit and vegetable processing plant burned down

The owners of a Mitchell-area business have vowed to rebuild after the main building of their fruit and vegetable processing plant was destroyed in a fire on Tuesday morning.

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The owners of a Mitchell-area business have vowed to rebuild after the main building of their fruit and vegetable processing plant was destroyed in a fire on Tuesday morning.

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“Just devastating. I can’t say many words to you, ”said Darryl Siemon, co-owner of Stovel-Siemon Ltd. with his father Scott, his mother Michelle and his brother Curt. “Our whole livelihood is on fire in front of us.”

None of the company’s 20 employees were on the West Perth Line 39 property around 7 a.m. when firefighters responded.

The main building, which was destroyed, was built around 60 years ago. Several additions followed, including the last in 2020, which made it difficult for the 45 firefighters in Perth and Huron counties.

“It’s a tough fire to fight, but the firefighters are doing a great job,” said Perth East-West Perth Fire Chief Bill Hunter.

Several empty spaces in the three-story structure forced firefighters to fight the blaze from the perimeter and through the roof, much of which collapsed into the main building which was not equipped with a fire protection system. sprinklers, he said.

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“When you take this type of damage to a building, you don’t do a lot of fighting the fires inside,” Hunter said. “Fire has time to grow before it is discovered, and that puts us behind the eight before we get a call.”

An investigation could take several days, Hunter said, adding that the Ontario Fire Marshal’s office had been contacted.

Firefighters at Mitchell Station in West Perth called for help from Sebringville, Milverton, Monkton, Atwood, Listowel and Seaforth. Oil tankers from nearby stations were also used.

Darryl Siemon said the company is working with a factory in Blyth that will need to take over, but the loss of the Mitchell-area distributor will affect the supply chain.

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