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Portage Avenue partially reopened after fire scorches culvert

A culvert fire burns in a photo tweeted by firefighters union head Alex Forrest on Tuesday. Alex Forrest via Twitter

WINNIPEG – Fire crews scrambled to douse a fire on Portage Avenue that sent potentially toxic smoke wafting over the Polo Park area on Tuesday afternoon, prompting some evacuations.

Crews eventually doused the flames at Portage Avenue and Albany Street, which appeared to have been fed by a plastic culvert that runs under Portage.

The fire sent thick black smoke over the area, which is what caused the evacuations.

Crews started allowing people to return home about an hour after they left.

Portage Ave blocked on Tuesday Oct 29 2013. Walther Bernal

However, there are concerns about the structural integrity of part of Portage Avenue, because fire crews weren’t immediately sure what effect the fire had on the roadway.

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Portage was closed both ways between Lyle Street and Ferry Road for several hours. Two out of four lanes heading in each direction were reopened late Tuesday evening.

There were no reports of injuries.

Pictures of the fire along Portage Avenue in St. James flooded Twitter Tuesday afternoon. Bart Omand / @ywgjetsfan
Pictures of the fire along Portage Avenue in St. James flooded Twitter Tuesday afternoon. Jodi McNeil / @sellingwinnipeg
Pictures of the fire along Portage Avenue in St. James flooded Twitter Tuesday afternoon. Bart Omand / @ywgjetsfan
Pictures of the fire along Portage Avenue in St. James flooded Twitter Tuesday afternoon. Kristin M. C. / @kristinma305
Pictures of the fire along Portage Avenue in St. James flooded Twitter Tuesday afternoon. Josh Cooperband / @JoshCooperband
Pictures of the fire along Portage Avenue in St. James flooded Twitter Tuesday afternoon. Allan Asplin / @allanasplin
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Smoke seen from 201 Portage on Tuesday October 29 2013. Global News

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