A large fire ripped through the Sunterra Meats processing plant in the Town of Trochu on June 17.

According to Barry Kletke, the mayor of Trochu, anywhere from 145-150 jobs have been lost due to the blaze.

Kletke says the news is disastrous for the local economy. Following the fire, he said members of the community and businesses have been asking how they can provide help for the workers who have been laid off.

"Number one thing right now is we're asking for donations to the food bank to make sure we keep everybody's bellies full."

Kletke told us the town has also put out a call to other communities to ask if they have any jobs that are available.

Trochu has a K-12 school and Kletke says there are about 275-280 kids who attend. He believes about 60 kids and teenagers from the school are children of people who work at the processing plant.

"The people that work at the plant and live in Trochu have been excellent additions to our community and we certainly don't want to lose them." 

According to Glen Price, director with Sunterra Meats, the actual number of people who were laid off is closer to 120.

No injuries were reported during the fire. Price says the cause of the blaze has yet to be determined, but it's not being investigated as suspicious.

"The plant is fully shut down. Work has stopped other than for our management team that are supporting the incident. But the hourly union people have been provided temporary laid off notices so that they can obtain EI support."

Price told StrathmoreNow that it's too early to determine when the facility might reopen.

Around 1,100 people currently live in Trochu.