Investigators probe rubble for cause of fire that destroyed business block

Investigators probe rubble for cause of fire that destroyed business block

The 30-hour fire is finally out and now investigators are tasked with trying to figure out what started it.

The fire, which began just after 3:15 p.m. Monday, destroyed a multi-business building on Roseberry Street in Winnipeg’s St. James area.

Fire investigators will be going through the ice-coated rubble from the Roseberry Street fire. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

Crews fought it through the night Monday and all day Tuesday, finally clearing the scene at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to fire officials.

The two-storey structure, which contained four businesses, is now little more than a rubble and ice sculpture. The torrent of water used to fight the flames has left the area coated in frost and icicles.

Roseberry Street was coated in ice, as were power lines and poles, as crews poured water on the fire throughout Tuesday. (Manitoba Hydro/Twitter)

Investigators will be on the scene Wednesday — and possibly Thursday and Friday — going through the wreckage to find the cause. Platoon Chief Bruce Melnyk said Tuesday he believes the fire started in 588 Roseberry, a printing business in one of the centre units of the block.

The fire and ice also damaged hydro poles, power lines and transformers, which cut electricity to several Manitoba Hydro customers in the area.

Power was restored to a handful of them by Tuesday morning but others are still waiting.

Half Pints Brewing, at 550 Roseberry, was one of those impacted by the outage, which forced them to dispose of 1,000 litres of an IPA that was in process.

The fire on Roseberry Street began just after 3:15 p.m. Monday and crews remained on scene until 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

The brewery thanked Manitoba Hydro for restoring power in time to re-brew the batch on Tuesday.

Fortunately, there were no injuries to any people due to the fire. Staff of the businesses had evacuated the building by the time fire crews arrived.

Published at Wed, 07 Feb 2018 11:21:33 -0500