Winnipeg emergency crews battle 5 fires in 6 hours Saturday morning

Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) crews were busy Saturday morning, responding to five different structure fires within several hours.

The first blaze broke out at 12:50 a.m. at an industrial building on Sutherland Avenue between Maple Street North and Argyle Street North.

When crews arrived, they found the structure engulfed in heavy flames and smoke. They launched a defensive attack using an aerial ladder truck and hand lines to deploy water. An excavator was also brought to the scene to move debris and help find hotspots.

The blaze was extinguished around 6:11 a.m., no injuries were reported.

The multi-storey structure was vacant and had previously been gutted by a fire on July 4, 2023. After that blaze, the building was deemed a complete loss due to extreme fire, smoke and water damage that left large sections of it partially collapsed. Since then, it’s been the site of several other significant fires, according to WFPS.

WFPS crews responded to a second structure fire in a single-storey commercial warehouse and office building in the 1400 block of Inkster Boulevard around 1:42 a.m.

After launching an interior attack against the smoke and flames, the fire was declared under control shortly after 2 a.m.

No one was found inside the building and no one was injured.

An hour later, around 3:07 a.m., WFPS were called to a large fire outside a commercial structure in the 500 block of Dufferin Avenue.

Several passenger vehicles and a semi-trailer unit were engulfed in flames when crews arrived. The fire also damaged electrical lines that fell on the building and were arcing.

WFPS personnel worked to prevent the blaze from stretching to the nearby building and ventilated smoke from inside. Manitoba Hydro crews were also on-scene to disconnect the electrical lines.

The vehicles and semi-trailer are considered complete losses, while the building sustained minimal heat damage. The fire was declared under control just after 4 a.m.

At 4:10 a.m., firefighters arrived to find heavy smoke coming from a vacant one-and-a-half-storey house in the 1300 block of Manitoba Avenue.

No one was inside and no injuries were reported. It was declared under control around 4:42 a.m.

An hour later, a blaze broke out at a garage in the 700 block of Flora Avenue. According to WFPS, the adjacent house on the property is vacant and has sustained extensive damage from previous fires.

Crews extinguished the flames and the blaze was declared under control shortly before 6 a.m. No one was injured in the incident.

All five fires are being investigated and damage estimates are not available at this time.

WFPS is also reminding residents to refrain from driving over a firehose while crews are responding to an emergency. They said it is an offence under the Highway Traffic Act and “doing so can create unsafe conditions for firefighters and put others in the vicinity at-risk of serious injury or death.”

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