Firefighters responded to the Taste of Edmonton Thursday afternoon, after a fire broke out at a food vendor’s stand at the downtown festival — sending one person to hospital.
The fire happened at a self-contained Snickerdoodle’s booth set up on 100 Street near 102 Avenue, to the west of Churchill Square where the festival is centered.
Crews were called at 4:44 p.m. and arrived four minutes later. Edmonton Fire Rescue Services said the fire was brought under control shortly before 5 p.m. and declared out about 15 minutes later.
Upwards of 20 firefighters from four crews responded to the call.
Video on social media showed flames shooting from the vendor’s stand and people gathered around a man. One person was assessed on scene by EMS for burns and taken to hospital, EFRS said.
Global News has requests in to Alberta Health Services for more information about the injured person.
The food booth was gutted by the flames.
“It’s pretty emotional,” Taste of Edmonton general manager Donovan Vienneau said. “We were celebrating this morning because all of the final inspections were approved today — and just a few hours later, this happens.”
Vienneau said the fire is a blow after all the challenges vendors and the festival have faced: the event was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and being able to relaunch this year was exciting for all involved.
“You don’t want to see anybody hurt, you don’t want to see property damage, you just feel bad for the entire situation.”
Vienneau said the festival has a detailed fire plan that includes inspections, certificates and sign-offs.
“Every every restaurant, food truck, everybody that is on site has to have a fire extinguisher and thank goodness we did,” he said, adding two security volunteers jumped in to help try and extinguish the flames.
EFRS said the fire was accidental, caused by a mechanical part failing in a standard cooking appliance.
Damages are pegged at about $75,000 — $65,000 to the trailer and $10,000 to contents — according to EFRS.
The Events Edmonton food festival runs Thursday, July 22 to Sunday, Aug. 1 in Churchill Square — where it returned to after being held at Capital Plaza, just north of the Alberta legislature, while the space outside Edmonton’s city hall was being renovated.