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Edmonton Strathcona Hotel fire caused by renovation work

WATCH ABOVE: Fire investigators have now determined sparks from a grinder started Friday's fire in Edmonton's historic Strathcona Hotel building. As Fletcher Kent reports, some are worried about what the future may hold for the building.

Investigators say a fire at Strathcona Hotel Friday night started as a result of renovation work being done at the building.

Edmonton Fire Rescue Services (EFRS) said firefighters responded to the scene at about 9:30 p.m. after receiving a call from a resident at a nearby apartment who reported seeing smoke from the hotel’s roof.

Over 40 firefighters worked with 10 rigs to battle the blaze, which was called under control at 2 a.m. Saturday.

READ MORE: Edmonton firefighters battle blaze at Strathcona Hotel building on Whyte Avenue

Traffic was blocked in all directions at Gateway Boulevard and Whyte Avenue except for vehicles heading north and turning left onto Whyte Avenue.
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Investigators said the fire started earlier in the day after sparks from an electric grinder ignited insulation in the hotel’s attic.

A contractor at the hotel discovered smoke and smoldering insulation around 10:30 a.m., EFRS said. He used an extinguisher to stop the smoldering and thought the situation was under control, according to fire officials.

READ MORE: Old building, new life: New chapter for Strathcona Hotel building in Edmonton

Investigators are working to determine the damage estimate.

The Strathcona Hotel building has stood on Whyte Avenue for nearly 130 years but was recently closed and sold to a developer.