Fire has levelled the former Tembec planer mill off Theatre Road Cranbrook late Thursday night, Nov. 1. No deaths or injuries were reported.
Flames broke out in the long-closed mill just before 10 p.m. and a cause has not been determined.
The City of Cranbrook said 16 firefighters responded to the blaze. The crews remained on scene into the morning watching for flair ups and Theatre Road will be closed to traffic in the morning. All commuters will need to find alternate routes.
A spokesman with the City of Cranbrook says firefighters realized they could not save the planer mill and instead worked to prevent the flames from spreading across the 36 hectare property.
Bystanders at the scene told the Townsman that the fire razed the building that housed the former planer equipment. The City said the building had been out of use for a number of years and it was still unclear if the fire involved the kiln or the joint plant on the property. No cause for the fire has been determined and there are no damage estimates available at this time.
Tembec closed the sawmill at the site in 1998, the planer was shuttered in 2010 and the kilns were permanently shut down in May.
The company received just over $100,000 from the Ministry of Forests in July to pinpoint and clean up any contamination issues on the southeastern B.C. property, and testing was expected to begin before the end of this year.
A sale of mill assets, ranging from the drying kilns to office furniture, concluded in late September.
See next week for more information.