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Banff hotel fire caused by propane torch: officials

Canmore Fire-Rescue said it responded early Thursday morning to a structure fire at the Banff hotel.
Canmore Fire-Rescue said it responded early Thursday morning to a structure fire at the Banff hotel. Canmore Fire-Rescue Twitter

Investigators have determined that a fire at the Mount Royal Hotel, a historic hotel in Banff, Alta., last week was sparked when a propane torch came into contact with combustible materials.

The fire started at around 2:30 a.m on Dec. 29, forcing the evacuation of the building.

READ MORE: Fire extinguished at Banff’s historic Mount Royal Hotel

In a statement emailed to Global News, the Town of Banff said the cause of the fire was “determined to be a direct flame impingement to combustible material from a propane torch.”

The roof of the building was undergoing renovation work at the time.

Smoke could still be seen from Banff's Mount Royal Hotel as of 9:30 a.m. Dec. 29, 2016.
Smoke could still be seen from Banff's Mount Royal Hotel as of 9:30 a.m. Dec. 29, 2016. Carl Modolo
Smoke could still be seen from Banff's Mount Royal Hotel as of 9:30 a.m. Dec. 29, 2016.
Smoke could still be seen from Banff's Mount Royal Hotel as of 9:30 a.m. Dec. 29, 2016. Carl Modolo
The scene of the fire at Banff's Mount Royal Hotel just before 11 a.m. MT on Dec. 29, 2016.
The scene of the fire at Banff's Mount Royal Hotel just before 11 a.m. MT on Dec. 29, 2016. Craig Hooper / Global News
The scene of the fire at Banff's Mount Royal Hotel just before 11 a.m. MT on Dec. 29, 2016.
The scene of the fire at Banff's Mount Royal Hotel just before 11 a.m. MT on Dec. 29, 2016. Craig Hooper / Global News
A huge plume of smoke could be seen from the hotel early on Thursday morning.
A huge plume of smoke could be seen from the hotel early on Thursday morning. Jayme Doll / Global News
Officials said the fire started at about 2:30 a.m. on Dec. 29, 2016.
Officials said the fire started at about 2:30 a.m. on Dec. 29, 2016. Jayme Doll / Global News
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Photos submitted to Global News showing the Banff's Mount Royal Hotel at around 7 a.m. Dec. 29, 2016.
Photos submitted to Global News showing the Banff's Mount Royal Hotel at around 7 a.m. Dec. 29, 2016. Dan Moore, Banff
Photos submitted to Global News showing the Banff's Mount Royal Hotel at around 7 a.m. Dec. 29, 2016.
Photos submitted to Global News showing the Banff's Mount Royal Hotel at around 7 a.m. Dec. 29, 2016. Dan Moore, Banff

Officials said that after reviewing witness statements, photographs and video footage it was determined the fire originated approximately 25 feet from the west brick wall facing Banff Avenue.

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Over 250 guests staying at the hotel at the time of the fire were relocated. None were injured.

In total, 23 firefighters battled the blaze.