An early morning fire burned through an office building and several bays of heavy equipment at the Hamiota Feedlot on Thursday.
But feedlot president Larry Schweitzer said it was still business as usual yesterday.
"We had enough machinery outside (the building) to fire up this morning and feed the cattle," Schweitzer told the Sun. "I think we’ll be OK. It’s just one of those things that you have once in awhile. We’ll have to build a new shop, build a new office and just continue on."
Firefighters and police were called to Hamiota Feedlot Ltd. site at about 3:20 a.m. on Thursday morning. When they arrived at the property, which is located about five kilometres west of Hamiota, they found the company’s office building completely engulfed in flames.
The building, which housed both offices and several bays of equipment, was destroyed, according to Hamiota RCMP.
"We lost loaders, cats, tractors. We had some pretty nice equipment," Schweitzer said. "It’s going to take us awhile to revamp."
No one was injured in the fire, but the cause is still under investigation. As well, Schweitzer said that the cattle were "nowhere near" the fire.
A damage estimate was not available as of yesterday afternoon. The Office of the Fire Commissioner continues to investigate and when contacted by the Sun was unable to provide further details.
The feedlot, which was built in 1998, employs approximately 18 people and utilizes locally grown barley and silage as its main feed ingredients. Owners and management are involved in the facility’s daily operations.
None of the employees will be losing their jobs as a result of the fire, Schweitzer said.
"There are no changes to our staff," he said. "We need all the employees we got."
The feedlot’s customer base includes cattlemen from Canada and the United States. Over the past winter months, the feedlot has held between 10,000 and 12,000 head of cattle.
» firstname.lastname@example.org, with files from Lindsey Enns