An explosion was heard and a thick plume of black smoke seen rising into the air late Thursday morning in downtown Edmonton.
Edmonton Fire Rescue Services said it was called around 11:30 a.m. to reports of an explosion in a vehicle at 100th Avenue and 112th Street in the Oliver area.
Six units, or about 24 firefighters, were dispatched with the first unit arriving on scene a minute after the call came in.
“We actually had a crew about half a block away when this happened and they saw the smoke,” said Edmonton Fire Rescue Services Acting District Chief Cory Cremer.
“They were dispatched pretty much as they were coming on scene. It was a really good save.”
Videos and photos shared with Global News show a work van on fire in an alley. Rob’s Albertan Heating & AC confirmed to Global News it was one of their work vehicles.
“We are deeply troubled by this incident and offer our thoughts to those affected,” the company said in a statement.
“Safety is our number one priority and Rob’s Albertan is committed to meeting or exceeding the highest safety standards.
“We are investigating this situation to understand what transpired.”
The building the van was parked beside appeared to suffer some exterior damage, as seen in the photo below.
Edmonton Fire Rescue said the fire was called out at 12:45 p.m. and was limited to the vehicle involved and the exterior of a nearby building.
Cremer said the fire was brought under control within a few minutes: “It’s just our bread and butter – we put it out fast.”
A burnt-out van was left behind after the flames were extinguished.
“At this time we know there’s two tanks that have exploded, but we’re not sure until the investigation’s done exactly what was in the tanks,” Cremer said.
As a precaution, people were evacuated from a nearby building.
There were no reported injuries, EFRS said.
The cause of the explosion and fire is not yet known.
Fire investigators are now looking into the blaze.
The Edmonton Police Service said it has not been contacted to investigate.
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