An iconic Okotoks landmark has burned to the ground.

The seed cleaning plant that ran along the railroad tracks south of North Railway Street is now reduced to a smoldering pile of rubble after catching fire at around 11:00 p.m. Sunday night.

Fire crews continue to spray down the rubble and look for any hot spots that could re ignite.

Okotoks fire chief ken Thevenot says they were called out just after 11:00 p.m. to find the building fully engulfed in flames.

"We had about 20 firefighters from [Okotoks] and we got four firefighters form High River with an engine to help us out."

"The strip mall behind us here had a lot of flying debris so that's why we called out High River to help with that so we could focus on the elevator itself."

Fire crews were forced to shut down the railway track and stop CP Rail from moving it's trains through town because of the debris that landed on the tracks after the building collapsed.

Thevenot says it is still too early to tell what the cause of the fire may have been.

"We have a building that hasn't been used for a number of years and it was fully involved right to the ground," he says.

Museum specialist Kathy Coutts says the building opened in February 1960 and its use was discontinued in 2005.

"It certainly was a landmark and it was the last of the elevator style of building that was once called 'Elevator Row,'" says Coutts.
"So that whole area has certainly changed now."

Its purpose was to ensure farmers had weed-free seeds, thereby reducing weeds in their crops and increasing farm revenue.

It was the 38th seed cleaning plant to open in the province.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.