SASKATOON – After nearly 48 hours, firefighters have reduced a massive industrial fire north of Saskatoon to a few hot spots. The blaze at Shercom Industries broke out Monday around 7 p.m. CT.
“We have managed to knock out all of the major fire. This morning, there was absolutely no smoke that was being driven off any of the property whatsoever,”says Saskatoon Fire Department assistant chief Dave Bykowy.
Shercom recycles rubber, and Bykowy said that made it a tough fire to put out.
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“It’s so difficult to extinguish. Rubber burns extremely hot. With this type of a configuration where it’s shredded, you’ve got a huge surface area on the fuel.”
READ MORE: Fire at Shercom Industries north of Saskatoon still smoking
Only a few hot spots remained Wednesday afternoon.
An investigation into the cause of the fire is expected to start Thursday. It will be conducted by members of Emergency Management and Fire Safety, Bykowy said.
“So far it’s taken in excess of 140 fire, environmental, medical, police and provincial fire professionals working as a team to bring the flames to the point of spot fire extinguishment,” said Bykowy.
Crews were worried dozens of barrels of polyurethane would catch fire, but they’ve saved them.
“In essence, what was burning was rubber,” Bykowy said.
The environmental impact is expected to be minimal. Sulphur dioxide and particulate levels were “extremely low,” he added.
WATCH BELOW: Fire at Shercom Industries north of Saskatoon
Two buildings have been destroyed, but crews have saved a third building that houses the offices of the company, although it has sustained heavy smoke damage.
“Fire was cut off just in time in this building with significant high level heat damage to the manufacturing plant,” said Bykowy.
“The offices sustained heavy smoke damage but otherwise are completely intact.”
Ryan Kessler contributed to this story