Heated flax meal sparks Man. processor fire

Overheated flax meal is blamed for a fire that’s caused seven-figure damages at a major flax processing plant in western Manitoba.

RCMP from nearby Russell, Man. report no one was injured when the Glanbia Nutritionals plant at Angusville., about 120 km southeast of Yorkton, Sask., caught fire Tuesday morning.

Manitoba’s Office of the Fire Commissioner has estimated damages at over $7 million and considers the fire to be accidental.

The fire appears to have been caused by flax meal overheating in a pasteurizing unit at the facility, the fire commissioner’s office said Thursday.

The operation was a family-run business known as Pizzey’s Milling until 2007, when it was bought by Glanbia Nutritionals, the Wisconsin-based U.S. wing of Irish food processor Glanbia plc.

The Angusville operation is well known as a miller of flax for use in the food, beverage, baking and pet food industries and also sells whole flax, touting the seed’s high levels of beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids.

A Glanbia spokesman said Friday that the company will consider its options for the facility over the next few weeks.

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