City orders emergency demolition for West Broadway convenience store after fire

City crews were seen demolishing a convenience store in Winnipeg’s West Broadway neighbourhood Saturday morning, after a fire ripped through the building Friday night.

Crews responded to reports of a fire at Young Food Mart, at 96 Young St., near Balmoral Street, around 9 p.m. Friday. Heavy flames and smoke were “pouring” from the building when they arrived, according to a Saturday news release from the city.

Hose lines and an aerial ladder truck were used to put out the blaze, which was declared under control around 11:30 p.m., the city says.

Paramedics assessed one person who escaped from the store before crews arrived, but the person was not taken to hospital. No other injuries were reported.

The building appeared charred early Saturday, and later in the morning, crews began an emergency demolition that was ordered by the city due to the substantial fire, smoke and water damage.

A fire in front of a building is pictured.
The City of Winnipeg says crews found heavy flames and smoke ‘pouring’ from the convenience store on Friday. (Submitted by Kaleb Boenders)

Kevin Flint, who has lived nearby for four years, says he saw the big blaze Friday night in the front of the building, and that it grew rapidly.

It’s a terrible loss of a place he often went to for small grocery items, he said.

“It was a good convenience store. The owners there were quite nice, they were really friendly. They tried to help the neighbourhood as much as they [could],” he told CBC.

“And now it’s gone.”

A small convenience store is shown charred after a fire.
Young Food Mart appeared charred by the blaze earlier Saturday morning. (Erin Brohman/CBC)

Bambi Hudson said she saw the store on fire from her apartment window around 10 p.m. on Friday.

“All I heard was explosions,” she said Saturday, adding that there was “smoke everywhere.”

“There was smoke in my apartment, and my baby has asthma.”

Nearby apartment blocks were temporarily evacuated as a precaution Friday night. Residents waited in a Winnipeg Transit bus until they were cleared to return to their homes, the city said.

The city says the cause of the fire is under investigation.

The back of a small convenience store is pictured. The openings of the door and a small window are blackened after a fire.
The rear of Young Food Mart on Saturday morning. The city says it ordered the building demolished due to substantial fire, smoke and water damage. (Erin Brohman/CBC)