Authorities seeking answers after hangar fire

By Nigel Maxwell
April 16, 2018 - 1:00pm Updated: April 16, 2018 - 3:07pm

A smoking pile of wood and ash is all that remains of the former Transwest Air Maintenance Facility, at Glass Field East of Prince Albert.

The building, constructed during the Second World War, was engulfed in flames late Sunday night. The Prince Albert fire department was still on scene as of noon Monday, tending to hot spots. Fire Chief Jason Everitt told paNOW with the amount of debris it will be some time yet before investigators can move in to investigate the cause.

Airport manager Cory Nygaard said normal operations at the airport would not be affected. He said air traffic control had to evacuate to its backup location about 300 metres away. 

"They evacuated for about two hours and so you know there was just the tiniest little blip until they got their new station up and running and there was no aircraft at that time," he said.

Nygaard said the damage was isolated to the one building and there are no environmental concerns.

"The fuel tanks are underground fuel tanks. The fire department did an excellent job protecting those underground fuel tanks," he said.

A spokesperson for Transwest Air was unable to elaborate on what was all inside the facility beyond several aircraft, but told paNOW damage will be in the millions of dollars. Patricia Hughes who is responsible for business development and marketing, said normal day-to-day operations have not been affected.

"We had two buildings available here at the Prince Albert airfield and we have set up operations already within one of those buildings," she said.

Hughes said, all things considered, they were pretty lucky, adding they also have maintenance facilities in Saskatoon and La Ronge.

Forty-two people are employed by Transwest Air in Prince Albert.


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Fire consumes Transwest Air hangar

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