All that remains of the Family Meats Ltd.’s slaughter plant. Photo by Emily Jaycox

Ponoka meat plant hopes to begin rebuilding in January after fire

Ponoka’s Family Meats Ltd., which has been able to keep all of its 28 slaughter plant employees working after a fire destroyed the building Dec. 1, says plans are underway to rebuild.

“Hopefully, we’ll be operational again in the spring,” says general manager Jent Hoekstra.

Workers have been commuting to facilities in Edmonton and south of Red Deer. The cutting plant in Ponoka is still doing the processing.

Hoekstra says if all goes well, the business hopes to break ground on a new building at the beginning of January. The cost of the rebuild isn’t being released, but Hoekstra says it has a multimillion-dollar price tag.

Nothing of the building or equipment is salvageable, as the heat from the blaze destroyed electrical components and nothing could be restored to food-grade standards, he says.

Ponoka County Regional Fire Chief Dennis Jones says the fire department’s joint investigation with the business’s insurance investigator wrapped up Dec. 11.

They are awaiting the report from the insurance investigator before they can officially state a cause of the fire.

Investigations can take awhile when it involves a significant loss to a business, he added.

Jones did say, however, that this was the worst fire in Ponoka since the True Value Hardware blaze in May 2007.

“We haven’t seen one like this for a long time, and hopefully, we don’t get another like that for a long time.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for all Canadian workers

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Sylvan Lake waiting for better days

COVID-19 has put the tourism season on hold for Sylvan Lake, but… Continue reading

Wetaskiwin RCMP charge impaired driver after he rams into police car

The suspect vehicle purposefully crashed into a parked police vehicle, pushing it into the ditch.

‘It’s awful’: Calgary homeless sleeping outdoors over fears of catching COVID-19

CALGARY — Gordon Kelter has something to fear more than not having… Continue reading

VIDEO: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Alberta government website has latest COVID-19 statistics

Red Deer Advocate readers can stay up to date on the COVID-19… Continue reading

44% fewer passengers flew on Canadian airlines in March 2020 than in 2019

COVID-19 pandemic has hit airlines hard as travel remains low

David Marsden: Jason Kenney is all hat, no cattle

There are few character failings more unappealing than those of people who… Continue reading

Global warming critics find themselves under attack

Re: “Tropical storms offer glimpse of our evolving environment,” Gwynne Dyer, Opinion,… Continue reading

Scheer has quickly made a hash of Harper’s legacy

By the time Andrew Scheer hands over the Conservative party to a… Continue reading

Bayern, Dortmund warm up for quietest ever Bundesliga duel

BERLIN — Canada’s Alphonso Davies rose to the occasion on Saturday as… Continue reading

Ace Canadian esports driver Brooks tearing up the track online during COVID-19

TORONTO — Andrew Brooks could write a travelogue that would make a… Continue reading

Canadian Screen Awards to reveal winners tonight through Thursday

TORONTO — The Canadian Screen Awards will reveal this year’s winners in… Continue reading

Most Read