“It’s been a very challenging night”: WFPS battles Main Street blaze – Winnipeg

An early morning fire on Main Street has destroyed three businesses and has forced several nearby residents to evacuate.

Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service responded to reports of a fire at 843 Main Street around 2 a.m. Saturday morning. They arrived to find a commercial building ablaze.

Firefighters closed Main Street to traffic and used aerial ladders to spray water on the top of the fire. The WFPS also used a drone to help them see the fire from the air.

WFPS Assistant Chief Scott Wilkinson said just under one-third of the WFPS’s personnel were occupied with the fire.

“At any given time earlier this morning we had about 50 personnel on-site,” he said. “Fortunately, we didn’t have any simultaneous incidents.”

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The buildings were home to three businesses: Lord Selkirk Furniture, Surplus Direct Liquidation, and Top Pro Roofing Ltd. WFPS says the building is expected to be a total loss.

“Three separate occupancies, but they do share adjoining walls and rooflines which caused the fire to extend,” WFPS Assistant Chief Scott Wilkinson said. “The crews did a fantastic job and were able to prevent the fire from entering the apartment building to the south.”

“It’s been a very challenging night,” he added.

Firefighters evacuated the apartment on the corner of Jarvis and Main as well as 15 homes on Austin Street North. Evacuees were housed in a Winnipeg Transit bus and connected with  social services to find alternate accommodations. Wilkinson said none of the homes were damaged, but smoke entered the apartment building.

“There is a significant amount of smoke damage on the inside,” he said.

No injuries were reported among residents or bystanders, but three WFPS officers were taken to hospital in stable condition for minor injuries.

The fire burned well into the evening of Feb. 11, with Wilkinson stating he expected crews to be on scene for several more hours.

Global News reached out to the three businesses that burned down but could not reach Surplus Direct Liquidation or Top Pro Roofing Ltd. Lord Selkirk Furniture said they could not comment at this time. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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