Edmonton building collapses in fire

Edmonton – A fire in an industrial area in west Edmonton has caused a building to collapse.

Firefighters were called to 114 Avenue and 144 Street at around 11 p.m. Thursday. They arrived to find two buildings on fire.

Forty firefighters were forced to fight the flames from outside the buildings.

The collapsed building housed two businesses, including Spar Construction, a contractor that specializes in restorations after emergencies like floods, vandalism, and fire. The other business is a flooring company.

The weather made the job even more difficult for crews who worked in 30 minute shifts as they dealt with temperatures around minus 20 degrees, with the wind chill making it feel closer to minus 30 degrees.

Two ETS busses were being used to keep firefighters warm.

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“The equipment takes a beating. We have to keep our hose lines open and running all the time so they don’t freeze, and, of course, we have to look after our crews as well to make sure they don’t freeze,” said Acting Deputy Chief Barry Lamb, Edmonton Fire Rescue.

“The boys fought hard. This is awful weather to be fighting a fire in. Everything freezes up, it taxes our equipment unbelievably,” said Fire Captain Michael Johnson with Edmonton Fire Rescue. “As soon as you get wet, obviously you’re starting to get cold, so it is very hard on the man power.”

The blaze was brought under control Friday morning.

The cause of the fire is not known at this time.

The early damage estimate is pegged at $750,000.

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