Friendly Family Farms in St. Boniface caught fire Monday afternoon, sending thick black smoke across the neighbourhood.
Fire crews were called to the scene at about 1:15 p.m. to battle the blaze at the oil seed processing plant.
Fire officials said early on that oil seed is not something they know a lot about.
However, Deputy Fire Chief Russ Drohomereski, at an update just after 5 p.m., said the black smoke, the result of the burning vegetable oil, was not a significant safety issue. Air quality monitoring has shown there is no cause for concern, he said.
“We have monitoring equipment downwind, from Manitoba Environment, and they are still registering zero parts per million of anything that would be of a concern to the public.”
WATCH: St. Boniface fire not a danger to residential areas
Fire crews remained on scene over night, as a “defensive stance” as the building finishes burning through and collapsing.
An advisory was issued by the city after 4:30 warning “young children, the elderly, and people with heart or lung conditions (e.g. asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and congestive heart failure)” to take precautions since they are “more sensitive to the effects of exposure to smoke”.
The building has been declared a total loss. and the cause is still unknown.
Three people were inside the plant when it burst into flames, and all escaped. One person has been treated for smoke inhalation, said officials.
Two previous fires at the same plant took place in May and September of 2017, but they were considered “minor”, said the WFPS Assistant Chief.
WATCH: St. Boniface fire, the third in two years
Winnipeg police said westbound Marion Street is closed from Lagimodiere Boulevard. Please avoid the area.
Lucas McConnell was in the area and described the scene to 680 CJOB.
“The walls are actually starting to collapse in on the steel building,” he said.
WATCH: Video footage shows flames shooting out of St. Boniface business
Assistant Chief Ihor Holowczynsky said the Winnipeg Fire Department’s drone was used and helped greatly with the fight.
Fire crews are continuing to access smoldering building material as it’s being torn down, helping to extinguish the remainder of the fire.