SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN, CANADA — A fourth-floor machinery fire at P&H Milling Group’s pulse flour mill on Jan. 12 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, did more than C$5 million worth of damage, according to the Saskatoon Fire Department (SFD). 

The SFD said the blaze originated from a malfunction in a piece of machinery on the fourth floor and then spread through the mill’s process piping to the sixth floor. All employees were safely evacuated, P&H confirmed. SFD investigators determined the cause to be accidental. P&H said it is conducting an internal assessment of the incident.

The SFD said crews arriving on the scene entered the fourth floor of the building and extinguished the machine that was on fire. Within minutes, the fire spread to the east side of the building, and crews began attacking the blaze from the exterior. 

“A drone provided by the Saskatoon Police Service was used to assess the roof areas of the flour mill to determine if the flames had spread,” the SFD said. “The drone confirmed the fire was contained to the lower floors.”

The fire reached the sixth floor, and the SFD used a ladder truck to flow water onto the fire for about a half hour. The fire, which was called in at 9:33 a.m. CDT, was brought under control after about 5½ hours.

P&H Milling Group, a division of Parrish & Heimbecker, Ltd., is based in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada, and operates nine mills across the country. The Saskatoon pulse mill specializes in proteins, starches and fibers from yellow Canadian field peas. The mill has a daily capacity of 6,000 cwts, according to Sosland Publishing Co.’s2024 Grain & Milling Annual.