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First Calgary Financial building ‘unstable’ after considerable damage in large blaze: fire department

Click to play video: 'Fire destroys First Calgary Financial branch' Fire destroys First Calgary Financial branch
Calgary police and arson investigators are looking to find out the cause of a blaze that destroyed a northeast First Calgary Financial building on Saturday. As Jackie Wilson reports, one witness says he has never seen anything like it – Mar 21, 2021

The Calgary Fire Department is calling the northeast First Calgary Financial building “unstable” after a large fire spread through the structure Saturday night.

The CFD said 10 fire trucks and 30 firefighters were called to the building located on 36 Street N.E., across from Marlborough Mall. Police were also on scene to help with directing traffic.

“I’ve never seen anything like it in my life,” said Christopher Duarte, who works at the Canadian Brewhouse next door.

“I looked outside and saw that the garbage area of First Calgary bank was up in flames and then it started getting worse and worse.”

READ MORE: Man seriously injured after fire breaks out at southeast Calgary duplex

CFD District Chief Innis Fraser said crews were able to get to the scene quickly and stop the fire from spreading further after receiving multiple 911 calls about the blaze.

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Fraser said the building is not considered safe after extensive damage.

The building was unoccupied when the fire broke out at around 10 p.m. Saturday, and will remain out of commission for some time, Fraser said.

The Calgary Fire Department responded to a blaze on Saturday, March 20, 2021. Global News

“All of the information for our members is safe. Their deposits are safe,” said Wellington Holbrook, COO of Connect First Credit Union, which is the parent company of First Calgary Financial.

“The buildings are designed for this. Our equipment is designed to be water-resistant and fire-resistant. We don’t expect any issues there, so there shouldn’t be any alarm for our members.”

Wellington said the bank intends to rebuild the Northgate Village branch since it’s one of their busiest in the city. Employees will be working at other locations for the time being.

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READ MORE: Calgary police searching for suspect after dumpster fires set along 18 Avenue

As of Sunday morning, investigators remained at the scene on fire watch, monitoring for any hot spots and flareups.

The CFD is looking for photos or videos of the fire taken before they arrived on scene. Email piofire@calgary.ca if you have any.

The Calgary Fire Department responded to a blaze on Saturday, March 20, 2021. Global News

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