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North 40 Meat Processing destroyed in weekend fire

A well-known abattoir in Neilburg has burnt to the ground.

The incident took place early Saturday morning, north of the Village of Neilburg. North 40 Meat Processing, which had been in operation for the past 11 years, was located on the farm of Dennis and Shannon Lane.

According to Dennis, Shannon woke up around 5:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, to have breakfast. While eating, she noticed a smell of smoke, and woke up Dennis. Dennis went outside to find the attic level of the business engulfed in flame.

Firefighters arrived within 20 minutes of the call being made. Unfortunately, the building was beyond saving.

“Each department has got 10 or 12 miles to run, so they made excellent time, it was just beyond saving, it was totally engulfed internally,” said Dennis.

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Firefighters managed to save two nearby structures, but the main building of North 40 was reduced to rubble.

“They saved those buildings,” said Dennis.

“We wouldn’t even had had time to clean them out, it was just that quick.”

Dennis was appreciative of the community response to the fire, after neighbours came to the farm to help during the fire.

“Within less than an hour, we had a yard full of people bringing soups and sandwiches and coffee, kept the fire department going and us going,” said Dennis.

The Lanes are now waiting to take the next steps in recovering from the fire, and Dennis expects the loss of the building and assets to be around one million in total. The fire was also the second to impact the Lane family, after a grocery store they ran in Neilburg burnt down in 2004.

“It’s pretty much devastating, no other way to describe it,” said Dennis.

“Right now, unfortunately I’m looking out the back door at a smoldering pile of wracked up tin. It’s just…well, you’ve seen the pictures.”

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

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