Firefighters were called Friday morning to Southgate Centre, where flames could be seen shooting from the roof of the south Edmonton shopping mall.
Firefighters responded at 5:43 a.m. and arrived six minutes later to find the blaze on the east side of the roof above Hudson’s Bay.
Fire investigators determined the fire started along a wooden expansion joint when the heat from a torch, used for roof construction, ignited combustible material.
About 20 firefighters responded to the mall, located just off Whitemud Drive and 111 Street, according to Kevin Krzanstek with Edmonton Fire Rescue Services.
WATCH: An early morning fire at Southgate mall affected business for one of its anchor stores. Sarah Komadina has the latest.
He said it took a few minutes to get water lines up to the roof, using both a ladder truck and scaffolding that was already there due to construction.
“Initial reports were that they’d been doing some roofing at Southgate,” Krzanstek said. Due to the early morning hour, other than security there were no employees at the mall yet.
A Global News crew could hear popping sounds coming from the blaze and several propane tanks could be seen on the roof, however Krzanstek said he was told the tanks were not affected by the flames.
WATCH: Live video showing flames shooting from the roof of Southgate Centre.
Crews got the fire under control shortly before 6:30 a.m. and then moved inside the Hudson’s Bay department store to try and prevent merchandise from being damaged.
The third floor of the store was closed for the morning but reopened at about 2 p.m. Other parts of the mall weren’t affected.
“Part of our fire operations is salvage and overhaul,” Krzanstek said. “They used tarps and catch basins. And once their basins are filled, they have to have a place to empty them and they were having an issue: unfortunately the washroom was completely on the opposite side of where the water was leaking.”
Krzanstek said maintenance crews were called in to help vacuum up the water.
The extent of the damage is not known, but fire investigators were called to the scene.
Edmonton Fire Rescue couldn’t say if it was an alarm at the mall or a 911 call that alerted them to the fire.
There were no known traffic or LRT disruptions because of the blaze.