A water bottling plant, which had employed 20 people in the southeastern Manitoba community of Middlebro, burned down early Monday morning.
The fire began around 3 a.m. Monday, destroying the Sky Blue Water Inc. bottling plant.
Reeve Duane Boutang of the RM of Piney said volunteer firefighters from the area battled the blaze for about 15 hours and were able to extinguish the fire with no injuries.
"Our people fought that fire yesterday and they got it under control but the building was destroyed," Boutang said in a telephone interview from outside the area. He said there is no cell phone service in the RM of Piney.
"It's a fairly large loss to community and a large economic loss to the RM. There's 20 jobs there at least. It's too early to tell consequences or the cause."
George Groumoutis, CEO of Sky Blue Water Inc., issued a statement today expressing a commitment to rebuild."Our staff and management are deeply saddened with the tragic loss of our building facility in Middlebro. We are pleased that there were no injuries to anyone," he said in the statement. "We value all our stakeholders in our operation and are committed to rebuilding our bottling facility as we work with our customers to provide them with product from an alternate source."
He said two nearby homes had been evacuated for safety concerns but those homes were not damaged.
The Sky Blue Water Inc. bottling plant is located about 150 km southeast of Winnipeg.