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Construction site in Brandon a total loss due to blaze

Fire crews are still on the scene of a blaze that broke out at an apartment building under construction, leading to its collapse.

The fire broke out at a four-storey apartment building that was under construction near the intersection of Victoria Avenue and E. Fotheringham Drive around 8:15 a.m. Terry Parlow, the deputy fire chief for the Brandon Fire and Emergency Services, said construction crews were on the site when the fire began but had all evacuated before firefighters arrived.

"We were informed that there were construction crews starting their day, it was obviously early in the day and we were able to ensure that everybody was out and everybody was accounted for," Parlow told CTV News.

Pictures and video from the scene show a large cloud of smoke and flames billowing from the building. Parlow said two fire halls responded and were able to begin attacking the fire quickly. The weather also helped.

"There was very little to hardly any wind conditions this morning which helped us with the attack of the fire," Parlow said, adding the extreme cold temperatures did create some challenges for fire crews.

"Obviously, the pumps and water and obviously the warmth and that for our crews."

Parlow said the fire was declared under control by 9:15 a.m. Thursday morning.

"It is a total loss. At this time, it is down to the bottom floor. All four floors have all collapsed in on themselves. Our crews are on scene right now just continuing to actually put out hotspots and such," Parlow said.

He said crews were able to keep the fire contained, and no other buildings were damaged in the fire.

Sgt. Kirby Sararas, a public information officer with the Brandon Police Service, said the surrounding area includes both residential and commercial spaces. She said no residents in the nearby apartment buildings had to be evacuated.

"The crews were able to contain it and get it under control before it reached that point," Sararas said.

There were no reported injuries, according to Brandon police.

Parlow said fire investigators are on the scene investigating possible causes of the blaze.

"We are still in the starting stages of the investigation as a result of the fire just being put out," he said.

Multiple intersections in the area are blocked off to avoid congestion and allow crews to work, though Sararas said Victoria Avenue has since reopened to traffic. Drivers and residents are asked to avoid the area.

CTV News Winnipeg will update this story as more information becomes available.

-with files from CTV's Daniel Halmarson. Top Stories

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