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.”
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.
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.
“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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any.