A provincially inspected abattoir near Bashaw has burned to the ground.
The owners of Kikel Meat Packers are dealing with the loss after Saturday’s fire, and Rick Kikel is recovering after being hospitalized.
The Kikels saw smoke just after 1:30 p.m. The husband went to find the source of the fire, but didn’t make it far into the building before he had to come out.
He suffered from smoke inhalation and was having chest pains and was taken to hospital by ambulance.
He was released Sunday and is “doing fairly well,” but needs further testing.
“It’s hard to deal with … it’s hard to wrap our heads around,” said Marla Kikel on Wednesday.
The couple, who had insurance on the building, is just trying to take it “one day at a time.”
They are grateful for their customers, neighbours and the firefighters, who worked hard to ensure the flames didn’t reach their home, which is on the same property as the abattoir.
“They did a wonderful job.”
They are also grateful to the nearby Hartland Hutterite Colony for supplying water for the pumper trucks, so they didn’t have to go to Bashaw to fill up.
At this point, it may not be possible to pinpoint the cause of the fire, as the scene was disrupted by a track hoe that needed to come in to help fight the flames.
The couple started Kikel Meat Packers almost 38 years ago.
The main part of the building was built 35 years ago and an addition was added 25 years ago.