An industrial fire that took place on Wednesday afternoon has claimed an iconic building in the northern Saskatchewan town of La Ronge.
“I could see plumes of smoke come out of one of my overhead doors that were closed,” described Hugh Watt, co-owner of Lee’s Construction.
It was just a thick black smoke so I turned around and I got the heck out of there.- Hugh Watt, co-owner of Lee’s Construction
“I hollered for my workers, figuring they had gone home for lunch and not in the shop. I didn’t hear anything. It was just a thick black smoke so I turned around and… I got the heck out of there and made a phone call to the fire department.”
Watt said for nearly four decades, Lee’s Construction has been a staple building in the northern community.
“It was the first building put up [in the area]. We built it ourselves as a family being a family business,” he said. Watt explained that the company was named after his father.
“It`s going to be tough when he sees the place,” said Watt. “But one has to carry on, pick up the pieces and move forward.”
At the moment, the company employs about 16 people.
Biggest fire this year
According to the La Ronge Fire Department, it took over seven hours to fight the flames that engulfed the building, making it the biggest fire the community has seen so far this year.
“Luckily, nobody was hurt,” said Watt. “There was substantial loss — a total loss of the building, and there were trucks and equipment inside the building that…