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Beausejour funeral home destroyed by fire

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The Knysh Funeral Chapel in Beausejour was ravaged by fire in the early hours this morning as firefighters from four rural fire departments battled the blaze.

The fire in the two-storey building caused an estimated $1 million in damage.

Firefighters from Beausejour, Anola, East Selkirk and Lac du Bonnet helped battle the fire which began at about 12:30 a.m. and was down to "hotspots" by 7:30 a.m.

No one was in the building at the time of the fire and no one was injured. Investigators with the provincial fire commissioner's office were on the scene, although the cause of the fire is not yet known.

There were no bodies inside the funeral home at the time.

"Before we were even on scene, it (the fire) had broken throught the roof so there was some pretty major flame there for a while," said Jamie Kines, the Beausejour fire chief.

"We had good response from the other fire departments considering it was the middle of the night. They were here pretty quick. We needed it. We needed relief in the cold, guys were frozen. I've got about three inches of frozen stuff around the bottom of my pant legs. We had guys have to go back and change gear because it was frozen solid."

Owner Mike Knysh said parts of the roof had completely collapsed and "there's a lot of damage."

"It's quite bad," said an emotional Knysh, who spoke in a telephone interview from the scene. "No idea (what the cause was) but no, there's nobody hurt so that's the good thing."

Beausejour is located about 45 kilometres east of Winnipeg.

 

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

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Updated on Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 9:26 AM CDT: Adds picture.

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