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Massive fire burns meat-processing plant to the ground

Digital writers

Thursday, December 7, 2017, 8:48 AM - Rush hour traffic was ground to a halt in parts of Burlington, Ont. on Wednesday as a large industrial fire prompted local road closures.

Emergency crews responded to the blaze at the Paletta International Corporation building at around 4 p.m., a meat processing plant located near Appleby Line and the QEW/Highway 403. The Hamilton Spectator reported Wednesday that according to Burlington fire Chief David Lazenby, the blaze destroyed the entire east side of the building.

All roads have been since been reopened. Appleby Line was closed between the QEW and Harvester Road, as well as QEW eastbound ramps at Appleby

The Burlington Fire Department said Wednesday that all occupants of the building are accounted for. Additionally, no injuries have been reported as of Thursday morning.

Low pressure moved out of southern Ontario on Tuesday, leaving powerful winds in its wake. 30-60+ km/h unpredictable winds gusted out of the southwest on Wednesday afternoon and evening in Burlington, 

Black, billowing smoke could be seen at a distance, and officials warned people in the area to keep their windows closed.

The Burlington Post reported that 14 firetrucks and at least 40 firefighters were on scene at the fire's peak, as well as trucks from the cities of Hamilton and Oakville. 

The cause of the blaze is not yet apparent.

Social media reports suggest traffic had slowed to a crawl across the entire city, a vital traffic artery connecting the Hamilton and Niagara regions to the Greater Toronto Area. 

In a tweet, Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring said everyone from the scene has been accounted for.


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