Advertisement

2 taken to hospital as crews battle central Edmonton fire

Click to play video: '2 taken to hospital as crews battle central Edmonton fire at Italian Bakery' 2 taken to hospital as crews battle central Edmonton fire at Italian Bakery
WATCH ABOVE: Two people were taken to hospital Friday morning after a fire broke out in central Edmonton. The building which houses the Italian Bakery was severely damaged by the flames. Fletcher Kent has more from the scene. – Apr 3, 2020

Two people were taken to hospital to be treated for minor smoke inhalation Friday morning as crews worked to douse a structure fire in central Edmonton.

At around 4 a.m., firefighters were called to a fire at a building in the area of 106 Avenue and 97 Street. The affected building houses the Italian Bakery, although fire crews on scene Friday morning could not yet say where or how the fire started.

READ MORE: Edmonton bakery reopens after devastating fire: ‘This is a happy day for us’

District chief Gerald O’Connor with Edmonton Fire Rescue Services said 28 firefighters from seven crews were dispatched on the first alarm. They arrived to heavy, thick smoke billowing from the building.

“It’s a two-storey structure. It looks like it’s a bakery business of some type. It’s heavily damaged at this time. Very stubborn fire,” he said.

Story continues below advertisement
Fire crews work to douse a blaze at a building that houses the Italian Bakery, on 97 Street and 106 Avenue Friday, April 3, 2020. Dave Carels, Global News

O’Connor said the fire spread to the basement, main floor and second floor of the building. Fire crews were able to contain the blaze to the one building.

O’Connor said he believes the people who were taken to hospital lived in apartments above the bakery.

READ MORE: ‘When things get tough, we’re there for each other:’ Italian Bakery worker on store burning down

He said the cold weather caused a bit of trouble for firefighters.

Fire investigators remained on scene Friday morning to determine the cause. There is no word yet on a damage estimate.

In February 2016, the Italian Bakery’s other Edmonton location — in Beverly — was destroyed by fire.

Story continues below advertisement

The bakery reopened its doors in April 2017.

John and Rochelle Cherniawski ventured out for the first time in a long time on Friday, as they have been staying home amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

They were shopping at the Italian Bakery’s 118 Avenue location, hoping to get some items for the upcoming Easter weekend.

“That’s the most important [thing] to me is supporting the smaller businesses, family businesses. Support local, right?” Rochelle said.

They learned of the fire at the bakery’s 97 Street location and said it was devastating to hear.

“It’s surreal to us right now, but we still want to support local and come out when we can,” Rochelle said.

Story continues below advertisement

“You pray for the family to keep on going and wish them the best,” John added.

“It’s family — all one family built this and they’ll build the other one again.”

Fire crews work to douse a blaze at a building that houses the Italian Bakery, on 97 Street and 106 Avenue Friday, April 3, 2020. Dave Carels, Global News
Fire crews work to douse a blaze at a building that houses the Italian Bakery, on 97 Street and 106 Avenue Friday, April 3, 2020. Dave Carels, Global News
Fire crews work to douse a blaze at a building that houses the Italian Bakery, on 97 Street and 106 Avenue Friday, April 3, 2020. Dave Carels, Global News
Fire crews work to douse a blaze at a building that houses the Italian Bakery, on 97 Street and 106 Avenue Friday, April 3, 2020. Dave Carels, Global News
Fire crews work to douse a blaze at a building that houses the Italian Bakery, on 97 Street and 106 Avenue Friday, April 3, 2020. Dave Carels, Global News
Fire crews work to douse a blaze at a building that houses the Italian Bakery, on 97 Street and 106 Avenue Friday, April 3, 2020. Dave Carels, Global News

Sponsored content