May 3, 2017 8:23 pm
Updated: May 3, 2017 9:21 pm

Cause of fire at former GM Plant in Regina unknown

WATCH ABOVE: Another historic building, up in flames. Regina’s old General Motors Plant located on Winnipeg Street had fire crews working overtime. Christa Dao has more on a blaze that ravaged a piece of local history.

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The cause of a blaze at the old General Motors plant, located at Winnipeg Street and 8th Avenue, is still unknown at this time,  but fire crews continue to investigate.

Photo of the blaze.

Supplied / Marni Moldovan

According to Regina’s fire chief, Layne Jackson, more than 30 firefighters and seven trucks were out battling a fire that ravaged the old historic building.

It’s unclear how or if there were any people inside the building at the time but the fire chief said “everybody is safe and accounted for.”

“Upon arrival, they encountered the units in a large commercial building fully involved in flames and fire,” he said.

“Those crews set up defensive operations and quickly attacked that fire.”

Jackson commended the quick work of fire crews, adding they were able to save a majority of the building.

READ MORE: ‘The flames were just massive’: Old GM Plant in Regina ravaged by fire

“We were able to bring it under control and contain it to a moderate portion of the building, saving approximately 90 per cent of the rest of the building.”

The extent of damage extended beyond the physical. Neighbouring non-profit group, Regina Education and Action on Child Hunger (REACH) executive director Dana Folkersen said power was cut to the area as a safety precaution.

The power outage meant their coolers and freezers were out of commission, and as a consequence, food deliveries to the city’s most vulnerable were cancelled.

“It’s a panic, what goes through our mind is today we need to get that food out to all of those people and we knew we couldn’t do it,” Dana Folkersen said.

Not knowing when the power would be restored, Folkersen said they had to move the food elsewhere.

“We had thousands of dollars of food that we had to move… One of our partners, the Food Bank has given us space for both freezers and coolers to move all our food,” she said.

“A loss but not a waste.”

The Regina Warehouse Business Improvement District said they were saddened to hear about Tuesday’s fire and said they will be working with the city moving forward.

“The Regina Warehouse Business Improvement District is sad to hear about the damages and loss caused by last night’s fire at the former GM plant. The Warehouse District prides itself on the unique historical buildings in the area and recognizes this is a huge loss for the businesses affected. The RWBID will be working with the City of Regina and the Fire Department to understand the implications of the fire and how it can support it’s members,” the statement read.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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