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Cause of commercial blaze on Ave. I incendiary: Saskatoon Fire Department

The commanding battalion chief ordered all firefighters to exit a commercial structure when the fire escalated.
The commanding battalion chief ordered all firefighters to exit a commercial structure when the fire escalated. Brady Ratzlaff / Global News

Firefighters battling a commercial fire were pulled from the building due to a weakening of the structural integrity of the building, Saskatoon Fire Department officials said.

Crews who were initially sent to investigate a residential fire signal on Avenue K South just before 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 13 said they saw significant black smoke in the area.

Read more: Patient burned in Saskatoon hospital fire

They traced the smoke to a fire at a commercial building in the 200 block of Avenue I South and a second alarm was sounded.

Firefighters softened the fire from the exterior with the intention of continuing to put out the fire from inside the structure, fire officials said.

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The commanding battalion chief ordered all firefighters to exit the structure when the fire escalated.

A partial collapse of the building then occurred as the building had been severely compromised, officials said.

Read more: Fire causes $50K of damage to Saskatoon home

The fire department said the blaze was contained to the structure of origin. They added that firefighters were extinguishing flare-ups and monitoring the fire until around 5 a.m. on Monday.

According to a press release, investigators have identified the cause to be incendiary. The Saskatoon Fire Department defines incendiary as a fire that has been deliberately set.

Damage is estimated at roughly $750,000, fire officials said.

Fire department officials said crews had to deal with arcing power lines, nearby electrical boxes and on-site propane tanks while battling the blaze.

No injuries were reported.

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