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Firefighters battle blaze at abandoned commercial building in central Edmonton

Edmonton fire crews battle a blaze in the area of 109 Street and 107 Avenue Wednesday, March 24, 2021. Dean Twardzik, Global News

Firefighters were called to a blaze at an abandoned commercial building in central Edmonton Wednesday morning.

The call came in around 8:45 a.m. for reports of a fire at a building in the area of 109 Street and 107 Avenue.

Crews arrived on scene three minutes later, according to district chief Gary Hoekstra with Edmonton Fire Rescue Services.

“The interior was visible flames, heavy smoke when we arrived and now the crews are just in the process of fighting that from the outside at this time — an aggressive exterior attack,” Hoekstra explained.

Read more: At least 1 home destroyed, others damaged in northeast Edmonton fire

The fact the building was abandoned and heavily boarded up proved challenging for the crews.

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“There’s work going on inside so getting into the building and finding the seed of the fire has been a little more difficult at this time. That’s why we have our ladders set up,” he said.

“Ventilation and fire attack is definitely difficult when forcible entry is being used when it’s all boarded up.”

A total of 30 firefighters from six crews were called to the scene. The cause of the fire is not yet known.

“I don’t know if it’s a complete loss. It looks like it’s for demolition because there has been reports of floors missing in the building itself, concrete floors and it’s an abandoned building,” Hoekstra said.

The past week has been busy for Edmonton fire crews, having been called to numerous house and residential fires.

On Tuesday morning, five homes were damaged after a fire broke out in the attached garage of a house in the area of 137 Avenue and 37 Street. Edmonton Fire Rescue Services said Wednesday that improperly discarded smoking materials was to blame for sparking the blaze, which cause a total of $1.2 million damage.

Read more: Are you prepared for a house fire? Tips to plan your escape

Several units in an apartment building in northeast Edmonton suffered extensive damage in a fire Friday morning.

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Last Thursday morning, one person was taken to hospital after a house fire in the area of 133 Avenue and 104 Street, which EFRS believes may have been deliberately set.

Click to play video: '‘Busy past few weeks’ for Edmonton firefighters as flames gut 2 more homes on Tuesday' ‘Busy past few weeks’ for Edmonton firefighters as flames gut 2 more homes on Tuesday
‘Busy past few weeks’ for Edmonton firefighters as flames gut 2 more homes on Tuesday – Mar 23, 2021

Last Tuesday morning, a large fire destroyed a home in Edmonton’s Ambleside neighbourhood.

“Over the last few days, we’ve had residential fires and now this commercial fire, it’s been a very busy time for sure,” Hoekstra said.

Edmonton fire crews battle a blaze in the area of 109 Street and 107 Avenue Wednesday, March 24, 2021. Dean Twardzik, Global News
Edmonton fire crews battle a blaze in the area of 109 Street and 107 Avenue Wednesday, March 24, 2021. Dean Twardzik, Global News
Edmonton fire crews battle a blaze in the area of 109 Street and 107 Avenue Wednesday, March 24, 2021. Dean Twardzik, Global News
Edmonton fire crews battle a blaze in the area of 109 Street and 107 Avenue Wednesday, March 24, 2021. Dean Twardzik, Global News

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