Fire destroys most of XL Wood Products

GREEN VALLEY – Fire has destroyed a majority of a wooden pallet manufacturing plant, east of Green Valley.

In an interview with Cornwall Newswatch, South Glengarry Fire Chief Dave Robertson says the fire department was alerted around 4 p.m. on Saturday (Nov. 21) after a monitoring system at the XL Wood Products factory triggered an alarm.

Robertson says it was a “very significant fire” that had all five fire stations respond as well as mutual aid from North Glengarry.

“We arrived to find heavy fire and smoke in one section of the building. It was comprised of four separate buildings that were all interconnected. Fire load, building construction and the wind, quickly spread the fire, heat and smoke throughout those buildings,” Robertson said.

The four buildings are a “complete loss,” through firefighters were able to save one large building on the Concession Road 8 property as well as a number of outbuildings and “considerable product that was on the exterior of the building.”

The fire was under control around 8 p.m. and firefighters were able to finish their job by 2 a.m. Sunday – 10 hours after the fire began.

There were no injuries as no plant staff were on scene at the time of the fire. There were no firefighters hurt.

The South Glengarry Fire Service is conducting an investigation into the cause, which may take “days or weeks” to determine, given the size of the building and the type of material that burned.

Robertson says the Ontario Fire Marshal has been notified. “We are determining what parts of the building are left or what evidence may be left to assist us with that. Whether they attend or just give guidance is being determined at this time.”

The fire chief also thanked Cornwall-SDG Paramedic Services, SD&G O.P.P. as well as the SD&G and South Glengarry roads departments for their help with the Saturday fire. “It was a very significant fire with significant assets required to bring it to an end.”