Skip to content

Shock, heartache as Loreburn elevator lost to fiery blaze

Prairie village in disbelief over the sudden loss of operational elevator.

LOREBURN - Shock quickly turned to heartache and disbelief on Sunday morning, January 21 when the F.W. Cobs Company grain elevator in the village of Loreburn went up in flames.

The call came in at 9:30 am of the blaze, at which point the Loreburn Fire Department was quickly on the scene, joined by the fire crews out of both Elbow and Davidson.

Video footage below that was provided to The Outlook's Derek Ruttle by reader Lois Forrest shows the severity of the flames:

As crews assembled on the scene and had a speedy debrief, the fire had quickly engulfed the building, which was still in operation as a grain elevator for the community area. At that point, a defensive operation was conducted to protect the nearby surrounding buildings, as well as Loreburn itself. As firefighters carried out their work, they were afforded with what was described as "the best possible outcome" as the wind conditions were calm, allowing for the smoke and red-hot embers to be kept away from the village.

Photo courtesy of Lois Forrest.

After the flames did the lion's share of their damage, the end result saw the elevator 'candle' rather than falling over on its side and causing the fire to spread.

A former United Grain Growers (UGG) facility, the elevator first opened in 1975. It was purchased by American organic grain seller F.W. Cobs Company in the 2010's, and according to their official website, the Loreburn elevator was the company's sole Canadian location.

Being an active facility, the elevator was full of grain at the time, and the fire left a sizable pile of both smouldering grain and wood.

Photo courtesy of Loreburn mayor Lawrence Casey.

The Loreburn, Elbow, and Davidson fire crews were grateful to have the support of each other in communication, as well as the approximately 40 local citizens who provided drinks and food to firefighters on the scene, as well as extra water trucks.

There were no injuries reported, and no other buildings were damaged by the fire as the blaze was contained to the elevator structure.

A cause of the fire is being investigated.