Firefighters ‘extremely cognizant’ of water usage as crews battle blaze at Calgary Bulk Barn

Click to play video: 'Fire at Calgary Bulk Barn leads to traffic tie-ups'
Fire at Calgary Bulk Barn leads to traffic tie-ups
WATCH: Calgary firefighters had a tough time battling a blaze that caused major traffic problems on Macleod Trail Thursday morning. The fire at Bulk Barn caused police to shut down two lanes of traffic as a ladder truck doused flames over 10 metres high. At the same time, crews were trying to conserve water. Doug Vaessen reports – Jun 20, 2024

Calgary fire crews said they were extremely cognizant of their water usage as they worked to knock down a blaze at a southeast business Thursday morning.

Firefighters were called around 6:20 a.m. to a fire at a Bulk Barn in the 9200 block of Macleod Trail Southeast.

Carol Henke, public information officer with the Calgary Fire Department, said dark smoke was coming from the business, which is located on the west end of a strip mall.

Crews began an “aggressive attack” to chase the fire, according to Henke.

“With buildings that have had multiple renovations, sometimes there’s void spaces, so you have to start pulling down the ceiling and then another ceiling because sometimes there’s multiple layers,” she said. “The fire can hide in spots where you don’t expect and so you have to do a lot of salvage and overhaul to look for all of those hot spots and make sure that it’s completely out.

Story continues below advertisement

“We do have heat cameras for that, as well, thermal imaging cameras that are used to find hot spots in behind places so that we can appropriately attack that fire.”

Henke said the business was empty when the fire broke out and no injuries were reported.

Breaking news from Canada and around the world sent to your email, as it happens.
For news impacting Canada and around the world, sign up for breaking news alerts delivered directly to you when they happen.

Get breaking National news

For news impacting Canada and around the world, sign up for breaking news alerts delivered directly to you when they happen.
By providing your email address, you have read and agree to Global News' Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

It’s believed the fire started inside the business and spread into the roof, according to the CFD.

Fire crews were able to contain the blaze to the Bulk Barn, she added.

“Firefighters did a great job limiting spread. There will be some smoke damage to some neighbouring businesses, however, the fire damage is limited to the business where the fire started.”

With Calgary’s current water crisis, Henke said Thursday morning she wasn’t yet sure how much water was used to douse the blaze, but said it would be more than the 600 litres used to put out a fire in Bowness on Wednesday.

In an update early Thursday afternoon, the CFD said about 20,000 litres of water was used on the fire.

“A charged hose line is a literal lifeline for our firefighters who are inside a burning building searching for occupants and doing fire suppression,” acting fire chief Debora Bergeson said in a news release.

Story continues below advertisement

“The CFD is very grateful for all of the water conservation Calgarians have done so that we have a safe and continuous water supply for exactly these types of emergencies. Public and firefighter safety is paramount.”

Click to play video: 'Calgary fire crews battle blaze in Bowness'
Calgary fire crews battle blaze in Bowness

Henke said firefighters were very mindful of their water usage.

“Our firefighters are extremely cognizant of the situation we’re in and everyone is working together to use the minimal amount of water that we can and yet still do the job we need to do.”

Eugene Bauer is the manager of Trail Tire, which is in the same strip mall as Bulk Barn.

“Lots of smoke,” he said of the scene Thursday morning. “By 7 a.m., flames were coming out of the roof, probably 40-feet high.

Story continues below advertisement

“They can only put on so much water at a time too. They were really conservative with the water, which was good, but they had the fire under control too.”

Bauer said his businesses sustained a lot of smoke damage.

The investigation into the cause of the fire is underway. Anyone with photos or video of the fire is asked to email them to Henke at

Sponsored content