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Extensive damage after fire rips through building at Kamloops dairy farm

Fire tore through the processing facility at Blackwell Dairy in Kamloops last night. Firefighters remain on the scene this morning, Thursday, June 15, 2017.
June 15, 2017 - 8:07 AM

KAMLOOPS - Firefighters are still on scene at Blackwell Dairy Farm in Kamloops after a fire tore through the farm's production building late last night.

Kamloops Fire Rescue Platoon Capt. Jeff Bell says crews received a call just after 11:30 p.m. last night, June 14, for a second-alarm fire at the farm.

Crews arrived to see the building, where the company packages product, fully involved, which meant calling out for extra members. They found towering flames and heavy smoke, with small explosions as gas tanks and tires ruptured. Trucks parked next to the building also caught fire and spilled diesel creating streams fo fire.

"At the peak there, we had like 28 (members)," Bell said. "Hydro was there to shut the power, we had B.C. Ambulance, RCMP... I believe Fortis attended also."

A firefighter works on a hot spot at what's left of the Blackwell Dairy processing facility in Kamloops, Thursday, June 15, 2017.
A firefighter works on a hot spot at what's left of the Blackwell Dairy processing facility in Kamloops, Thursday, June 15, 2017.

There were no injuries in the blaze. Bell says production in the building shuts down around 8 p.m., which is around the time staff members cleared out for the night.

The building is directly next to the barn where livestock is kept, and Bell says the owner was able to evacuate the cows.

Crews had the fire contained around 2:30 a.m., but crews are still on scene putting out hot spots. Bell says they'll likely be there until mid-morning and investigators are expected to arrive on scene as well.

Bell says the damage to the production building is extensive and it could take investigators days to put a dollar value on it. Bell says it's too early in the investigation to speculate on what the cause of the fire may have been.

The facility processes milk from farmers across the Thompson, Shuswap and Okanagan.

 — With files from The Canadian Press.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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