Firefighters in Crystal City scrambled to fight a blaze that consumed a grain elevator Monday evening.
The fire broke out in the elevator owned by Paterson Grain at around 6 p.m.
Bright orange flames rose in the sky and residents in the area said it sounded like thunder as the building burned.
Mike Webber from the Crystal City & District Chamber of Commerce said the elevator was completely destroyed.
“There was an explosion of some sort, I believe, in the upper area of the elevator and the fire started and the elevator was burned totally to the ground,” he said.
“Unfortunately the elevator was actually a heritage building. It was wooden so it was a terrific loss.”
The fire also destroyed the towns only hardware store, Cudmore Brothers Hardware. Owner Melvin Doerksen said he watched the fire engulf his store.
“All at once I heard a kaboom and I looked up and there’s a big black smoke going up,” he said.
Doerksen said when he went to check on his store, he knew something was wrong.
“I said ‘something isn’t smelling right here’ and I looked and sure enough there was a haze in the store.”
As upset as he is about losing his store, Doerksen said he’s thinking about the rest of his community. He said the nearest grain elevator is about 40-50 miles away, something he says will be a major problem this time of year for farmers.
Fire crews from surrounding areas also responded to the call and STARS Air Ambulance was dispatched.
A spokesperson said they transported a man in his 30’s who had suffered burns in the fire. He was taken to Health Sciences Centre in stable condition.
There’s no word on how the fire started or the amount of damage it caused.
Crystal City is about 150 km southwest of Winnipeg with a population of about 390 people.
LISTEN: Melvin Doerksen, owner of Cudmore Brothers Hardware joined guest host Kelly Moore on the CJOB Morning Show.