Fire crews were on scene at a large blaze in Edmonton’s west end on Friday afternoon.
Firefighters were called to a commercial warehouse in the area of 168 Street and 100 Avenue just before 1:30 p.m. Capt. Rob Allan said the initial call was for a vehicle fire but added it was to soon to say if the fire spread to the building.
Crews arrived on scene four minutes later to find thick, black smoke coming from the roof of an area business.
Fire crews appeared to be focusing their efforts on a business called Fireplace and Stove Centre.
“We did have some initial explosions but we’re not concerned about that at this point,” district chief Dan Blackburn said shortly before 3 p.m.
Blackburn said firefighters initially went inside to fight the fire but immediately got out of the building because of unsafe conditions.
“This is a warehouse, it was fully involved,” Blackburn said.
“It was not safe to go inside, so we continue to battle it from the outside… the rear wall is unstable, so are the side walls.”
At 3 p.m., the fire was not yet under control. Blackburn said the wind proved challenging for fire crews.
“Because of the wind from the east blowing into the large doors, that fuelled the fire with air so that’s the reason I think it got out of control so quickly. It’s been challenging, especially on this side — for the crews — because of all the smoke.”
The warehouse in surrounded by attached businesses on either side. Blackburn said it’s believed crews were able to contain the fire to the one business.
“There may be smoke damage there but we don’t know if there’s fire damage yet.”
Blackburn said 16 fire trucks were called to the two-alarm blaze.
Watch below: Firefighters responded to a large blaze in west Edmonton on Friday afternoon. Albert Delitala reports.
100 Avenue was closed to traffic between 166 Street and 169 Street while crews battled the fire. Drivers are asked to avoid the area.
Blackburn said no injuries were reported Friday afternoon. The surrounding buildings were evacuated.
It’s not known how the fire started.