Advertisement

Crews battle massive fire at Muskoka Timber Mills in Bracebridge

Click to play video: 'Major fire in Bracebridge under investigation' Major fire in Bracebridge under investigation
WATCH ABOVE: Fire crews from Bracebridge and surrounding municipalities spent the night battling a massive fire at Muskoka Timber Mills. Shallima Maharaj shows us the aftermath – Jul 18, 2019

Emergency crews from multiple agencies responded to a large fire at a lumber business in Bracebridge on Wednesday night and Thursday.

The fire broke out on Wednesday at Muskoka Timber Mills, located on Manitoba Street about seven kilometres north of downtown Bracebridge.

As of Friday, the cause of the fire is still unknown, Bracebridge fire Chief Murray Medley told Global News.

READ MORE: OPP investigating ‘suspicious’ fire at former Bangor Lodge in Bracebridge

“The Ontario Fire Marshal was on scene doing their investigation yesterday,” Medley said on Friday. “They didn’t find anything suspicious there. It may be that they won’t be able to class it as having any determination on it.”

Since the destruction was extensive, Medley added, it’s hard to piece information back together regarding the cause.

Story continues below advertisement

“The north end of the building was completely involved when we arrived on scene and by the time we set up a water supply and worked our way through that there, the building was basically all involved,” Medley said.

According to Medley, one building was affected by the fire.

READ MORE: Georgian College in Barrie to reopen Thursday following fire

Photos posted on social media show several parts of a large structure on fire, sending thick plumes of black smoke into the area. According to posts on Twitter, crews from the Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Huntsville Lake of Bays and Muskoka Lakes fire departments responded to the blaze along with OPP.

Jeff McWilliam, Muskoka’s chief of paramedic services and emergency planning, said there were no reports of injuries.

“We were there on standby to help if anything should happen to the firefighters during the course of fighting the fire,” he said on Thursday.

WATCH: Bracebridge fire crews continue to douse hot spots at massive fire

Click to play video: 'Bracebridge fire crews continue to douse hot spots at massive fire' Bracebridge fire crews continue to douse hot spots at massive fire
Bracebridge fire crews continue to douse hot spots at massive fire – Jul 18, 2019

Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith told Global News he first heard about the blaze during a planning meeting at around 8 p.m. on Wednesday, adding that he went to the scene but wasn’t able to get too close due to the number of emergency vehicles.

Story continues below advertisement
“We’ve had multiple structure fires [in Bracebridge] today so our crews have had a pretty long day. This is a significant fire,” he said Wednesday night.

READ MORE: OPP crime unit investigating ‘suspicious fire’ at Norfolk County home

“Timber Mills has been around for a long, long time, and it is an important business. I have many thoughts for the owner of that business this evening as he’s clearly going through something no one ever wants to go through.”

According to Medley, fire crews were on scene for around 22 hours. “Between us and the mutual aid departments that responded with us there, we had in excess of 50 people on scene at the high point,” he said, adding the fire was knocked down by daybreak on Thursday.

Muskoka Timber Mills was founded in 1992 and is still operated by its original founder, Ric Singor, and his family. The company employs more than 50 people year round.

Story continues below advertisement

— With files from Shallima Maharaj

Sponsored content