Investigation continues into cause of fish plant fire

Staff ~ The Cape Breton Post
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ARICHAT - The investigation continues today into a fire that destroyed Isle Madame's biggest employer, the Premium Seafoods groundfish plant, on Friday.

Only charred rubble remains of the Premium Seafoods plant in Isle Madame after a fire destroyed it on Friday.

"At this point, my investigators and the fire marshall's office are still examining the scene," said Sgt. Mark MacPherson of Richmond County District RCMP. "It's just a physical search and of course, followup interviews with employees and some of the people who noticed the fire as they passed by that morning."

MacPherson said there was nothing so far to indicate anything suspicious.

"There's some rumours kicking around but nothing yet … we have to conduct the physical search of the scene so that will tell us what happened hopefully," said MacPherson.

A passerby noticed the fire around 12:40 early Friday morning. Fire departments from Isle Madame, Louisdale, St. Peter's and Port Hawkesbury fought the blaze with eight trucks and about 40 to 50 firefighters but it still burned to the ground.

Deputy fire chief Rodney LeBlanc of the Isle Madame department said it was the worst scene he has responded to in 21 years of fighting fires.

The plant employed about 70 workers. It was one of three plants owned by the Premium Seafoods Group that employ more than 200 people when at peak operation.

Edgar Samson, the Premium Seafoods Group CEO, said on Friday it was too soon to say whether the company will rebuild.

“Give us a chance to look at the whole picture,” Samson said, adding he was grateful that no employees, firefighters or nearby residents were injured.

The company’s three plants employed more than 200 people at peak operation.

Organizations: Isle Madame department, Premium Seafoods Group CEO

Geographic location: Isle Madame, Port Hawkesbury

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