A plastics extrusion operation run by a Hutterite colony in Manitoba, Canada, was spared in a massive fire on March 2.
The fire destroyed a building containing assembly equipment and finished products at Heartland Colony Farms near Hazelridge, Manitoba. No one was injured in the blaze, according to Springfield Fire Chief Jeff Hudson.
“There was significant loss, maybe higher than C$2 million (US$1.5 million),” Hudson said in a phone interview. “The building manager is very upset.”
Members of the colony were not immediately available for comment.
Hudson said a nearby building containing plastics extrusion equipment was undamaged. The equipment makes parts for carts, wagons and other uses, which are sold to the general public. Hudson estimated the business did more than C$100,000 (US$75,000) in sales per month.
The building destroyed in the blaze was a 4,500-square-foot wooden structure with metal cladding. Hudson said the cause was unknown as of March 3. At its peak, the fire drew about 35 firefighters from regional fire stations to contain the blaze.
The Heartland colony was a Schmiedeleut-type group. Colonies in the group are concentrated in Manitoba and South Dakota. The Heartland colony was founded in 1996 as a division from the Lakeside Hutterite Colony. Population of the Heartland colony was not publicized but a local school's enrolment was listed at 50 Hutterite children. Hutterites, a communal religious group similar to the Amish and Mennonites, began migrating to North America in 1874 and most colonies focus on agriculture.