Fire at Franz Turkey Farms near Petrolia (GALLERY)

Fire at Franz Turkey Farm in Petrolia. September 19, 2018 Photo by Melanie Irwin

An empty 400 foot by 60 foot pole barn burned to the ground Wednesday morning at Franz Turkey Farms on Plank Road.

St. Clair Township Deputy Fire Chief Steve Bicum said they responded at around 5:30 a.m.

He said when they arrived about half of the building was fully engulfed.

“It’s an empty turkey barn, the turkeys had been removed sometime prior to that,” said Bicum. “There’s nothing of great value in the building at this point. Brigden, Courtright and Petrolia stations responded with approximately 30 firefighters.”

Bicum said it’s been a difficult fire to extinguish and they likely will be on scene for some time.

An excavator was brought in to pull parts of the smouldering building apart, so firefighters can get to hot spots.

The public is asked to try to avoid the area on Plank Rd. near Mandaumin as tanker trucks continue to shuttle water to the area.

St. Clair Township Fire Chief Walt Anderson said Wednesday afternoon that damage could run as high as $600,000.

He said the cause of the blaze has not been determined yet, but it’s not believed to be suspicious.