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Community elevator burns in Sask.

Grain growers near the northern Saskatchewan town of Cudworth lost a local shipping point Tuesday as the community’s elevator burned to the ground, Saskatoon’s StarPhoenix newspaper reports.

The newspaper, on its web site Tuesday, said a fire broke out near the top of the 75-year-old former Saskatchewan Wheat Pool elevator at about 9:30 a.m. Firefighters soon found the fire could not be extinguished and allowed it to burn out. Thus, the elevator had collapsed by noon.

The StarPhoenix said the elevator at Cudworth, about 80 km south of Prince Albert, was owned by the Rural Municipality of Hoodoo, which bought it from SaskPool (now known as Viterra).

Farmers used the elevator to move grain on the Wheatland Railway, a community-operated line connecting the communities of Hoey and Cudworth with CN track at Dana. Wheatland operates the 65-km Cudworth subdivision on a 20-year lease it signed with CN in 2002.

It’s not yet known whether another grain handling facility will be built to replace the old elevator, local officials told the newspaper.

“She’s just a pile of ashes now. It hurts all right,” Hoodoo Reeve Linus Hackl told the StarPhoenix’s Jason Warick. “We’ll just have to live with this.”

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