The January 23rd fire that occurred at the Highline Mushroom plant, north of Airdrie, is still under investigation. According to William Clarke, Rocky View County Fire Investigator inspector, fire investigators were assessing the plant last week and are planning on continuing this week.
Clarke estimates that the 300,000 square foot facility will suffer million-dollar losses from both structure damage as well as the contents that were damaged.
“[Arson] is not suspected. It's one of those aspects that haven't been ruled out, [but that's] not to say that's what we're looking at. Until we know exactly what we're looking at, really nothing gets ruled out,” he said. “It's not ruled out, but we're not actively pursuing this time.”
He added that it is not unusual for investigations to take weeks if not months, considering the size of the fire.
“The area and origin have been narrowed down, but there are still multiple fire investigators from the different insurance agencies that are on-site that are investigating as well,” Clarke said. “Now it's on the insurance side of things.”
In a written statement to Discover Airdrie, Stephanie Myles Marketing Manager for Highline Mushrooms wrote that, "We continue to work with the authorities to determine the cause of the fire, and the investigation is still ongoing. Growing operations have continued throughout the post-fire period, with the assistance of our associates and help from our other farms. We will resume packaging soon from a remote location until the packaging facility is reconstructed. "
In a previous interview with Discover Airdrie, District Fire Chief at Rocky View County, Dax Huba, said that the Highline Mushroom plant fire was one of the larger structural fires that he had attended to in some time.
"We had multiple crews; We had Carstairs Fire [Department], Crossfield Fire [Department], we had Airdrie [Fire Department] helping us out, 107 station out of Balzac, 108 station from Irricana, 105 station from Madden, and a callback crew we brought in on overtime from 107 station Balzac as well," Huba said. "It was a lot of apparatus and a lot of people to keep track of."
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