In this article, you will get all information regarding Bentley Alta., grain elevator destroyed by fire – Edmonton | Globalnews.ca

An historic grain elevator in the Town of Bentley, Alta., northwest of Red Deer, has been completely destroyed by fire.

Reports that the grain elevator was burning came in early Friday morning around 1:30.

Both the Bentley and Lacombe fire departments responded with roughly 20 firefighters working through the frigid night.

“We had to fight the fires in 15-minute shifts because that’s as long as you can stay out there,” Bentley fire chief Ian McLaren said.

He said the cold was the biggest challenge.


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“We started to have things freezing up,” McLaren explained.

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“We had a hydrant freeze up and some of the lines in the truck started to freeze up and hoses frozen into the ground — things like that.”

McLaren said by the time fire crews arrived, the grain elevator was completely engulfed in flames.

“This is a once-in-a-career probably situation,” McLaren said.

“This is the biggest fire in terms of size that I’ve ever attended in my time as a firefighter.”

On Saturday fire crews were dousing the remnants of the structure, which were still smoldering.


Bentley firefighters douse the smoldering remnants of the grain elevator.


Eric Beck / Global News

“This won’t go out until it is cleared away,” McLaren said.

The grain elevator is regarded as the town’s centre piece.

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“We’re kind of known for our elevator, so it’s a big loss — kind of a landmark,” Town of Bentley mayor Greg Rathjen said.

“They’re not building them all the time now… so it was just a historical thing here that was really special.”


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Rathjen noted it was part of many community events.

“On the elevator we put a big screen we would have a drive-in service — a drive-in movie.

Recently, new ‘welcome’ and ‘thanks for visiting’ signs were put up featuring the grain elevator.


Town of Bentley sign.


Eric Beck / Global News

Rathjen said while it’s tough to see it go like this, it’s a chance for Bentley to be known for more than just the historic structure.

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“This is sad, but hey, we move on,” he said.


Grain elevator burns in Bentley.


Courtesy: Greg Rathjen

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