WATCH: Aerial footage of fire at plant in Town of Tecumseh.
TECUMSEH, Ont. – An evacuation notice has been lifted in a community just east of Windsor after a massive fire broke out overnight at a vegetable processing plant.
The fire began overnight but Bonduelle Canada, which owns the plant, could not confirm the cause.
Tecumseh fire Chief Doug Pitre said two ammonia-filled tanks from the plant might have become a significant hazard if the fire had not been contained.
The frozen goods company said its unlikely production will be able to continue until repairs are done.
“Bonduelle will take all necessary measures to minimize the impact of this tragedy on its employees and customers,” it said in a release.
The town had issued an evacuation order for residents living within 1.5 kilometres of the facility, affecting about 1,300 homes.
Others in the area outside the evacuation zone were being asked to stay sheltered and in place, and to keep their windows closed.
Tecumseh Fire and Rescue Services told residents between County Road 22 to the south, St. Thomas Road to the north, Lesperance Road west to Manning Road are to evacuate the area.
Tecumseh Arena, 12021 McNorton Street, is available to host residents, as well as St. Joseph’s School located on Clover and McHugh, Windsor.
Tecumseh Mayor Gary McNamara says residents are being offered shelter at the town’s arena and a nearby school.
“At this stage the fire is not proceeding westerly direction,” said McNamara. “The goal is to protect the pressure vessels holding bigger tanks of ammonia.”
There are no immediate reports of injuries.
Bonduelle says on its website that it is Canada’s leading processor of canned and frozen vegetables. The plant employs nearly 150 full-time employees and another 700 seasonal workers who produce nearly 30,000 tons of frozen goods and another 20,000 tons of canned goods each year,
A statement from the company says the “property damage is considerable.”
It has seven plants in Canada, including three in Ontario and four in Quebec.