Workers at Shercom Industries are pulling together after fire ripped through the rubber recycling plant north of Saskatoon.
Fire crews have remained on site since reports of flames came in shortly after 7 p.m. Monday.
It was at that time, while seated in a plane about to take off from Vancouver, Shane Olson received a call with the news.
“Not anything we had planned or hoped for or would even wish upon our enemy,” the president of Shercom Industries told CKOM News Tuesday.
“This is a significant punch in the gut…it’s without doubt that we’re on a bit of an emotional roller-coaster.”
Olson was able to switch flights and head back to Saskatoon. He arrived at the scene shortly after midnight.
“When I got to the site, there was a number of employees and friends and family who were just waiting to offer their support,” said Olson, adding he’s been overwhelmed by positive messages from people across the province.
At that time, fire fighters from Saskatoon, Warman and Martensville had already been battling flames that started in part of the company’s manufacturing facilities.
Shercom confirmed no one was in the building at the time; although, staff members were present in other buildings. No injuries have been reported in connection to the fire.
The company’s scrap tire storage facilities were properly protected and were not affected by the blaze.
“The extensive fire walls within our buildings, it would appear, they did their job in limiting what they could,” said Olson.
Shercom’s president said the blaze involved rubber materials in the last few stages of production, and was not a tire fire.
“This is a plant fire, a building fire,” he said, adding Shercom’s environmental measures are in place to ensure long-burning tire fires don’t occur.
The fire will impact workers at the plant.
The manufacturing facility needs to take a hiatus; but Olson said there is sufficient inventory to meet current orders as the company assesses options for rebuilding.
Olson said there may be limited layoffs as Shercom rebuilds, but the business will survive.
The company is expected to resume office activity Wednesday, at an interim location.
Shercom Industries employs between 60-80 people.
While the cause of the fire is still under investigation, Olson said the company will also conduct its own internal review of the incident.