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Fire tears through Burlington processing facility
Fire tears through Burlington processing facility

Firefighters arrived at Paletta International Wednesday afternoon

By Diego Flammini
News Reporter

Firefighters remain on the scene of a large fire that broke out in a Burlington, Ont. processing facility yesterday afternoon.

Fire crews from Burlington, Oakville and Hamilton were called to Paletta International just after 4:00 p.m. About 40 firefighters were on scene.

Paletta International, who’s other business ventures include real estate, construction, media and entertainment, employs between 150 and 200 people at Tender Choice Foods, a 15,000-square foot turkey and chicken processing facility located within the building.

The cause of the fire is unclear and the Ontario Fire Marshal has been called in to investigate.

The building’s east side was almost completely destroyed, forcing first responders to focus on preventing the fire from spreading.

“It’s very much a defensive fire,” Burlington Fire Chief David Lazenby told Global News yesterday. “We’re keeping our firefighters safe while looking to protect the west side of the building.”

About half of the building, which also includes office space, has been damaged, he added.

It’s too early to tell whether any producers will be impacted by this fire, Brian Ricker, chair of Turkey Farmers of Ontario, told today.

Members of the agricultural community expressed their concern for the Paletta family, who have been part of the Burlington community since 1964, as well as the plant’s employees.

“Our thoughts are with Paletta International in (Burlington) and we are grateful that no workers or firefighters were injured in the fire,” Turkey Farmers of Canada wrote on Twitter today.