Massive auto body shop blaze prompts demolition
Jon Hendricks, CTV Winnipeg
Published Tuesday, December 1, 2015 4:21AM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 1, 2015 3:08PM CST
Fire crews were battling a massive fire at an auto body shop on Lorette Avenue near Pembina Highway late Monday night and into early Tuesday morning.
The fire broke out at J Max Auto Service in the 600 block of Lorette Avenue around 10:15 p.m. Monday.
Emergency crews say the fire was heavily involved when they arrived on scene.
"The inside is completely gutted. The roof has completely caved in," said District Fire Chief Chris Carey.
The fire prompted for a complete demolition of the building.
Firefighters began battling the blaze inside the building, but had to pull back due to concerns the building may collapse.
Fire crews also say there were concerns over explosives inside the building, including propane tanks and vehicles inside the shop.
An employee told CTV News that there were at least 40 cars in the building, some high-end vehicles. The business routinely moves vehicles into the building to prevent vandalism.
No word yet on the extent of the damage to the vehicles.
The fire caused significant damage to the building.
"It will be a total write off,” said Wayne Imrie from Imrie Demolition. “When they burn this bad they don't even try to fix it.”
The flames and smoke also caused another fire alarm to go off on Osborne Street.
Owner Joel Semchuk tells CTV News he's grateful no one was hurt. He's also praising the efforts of the Winnipeg Fire Department.
"I explained that we have three other buildings next door and that you know, we're concerned the heat might start them up," said Semchuk. "They put a pumper truck on it right away and kept it cool for five hours."
And all that effort likely saved the other buildings from going up in flames too.
Semchuk plans to have all his employees back on the job Wednesday where they'll try and get everything rolling again.