WINNIPEG -- Six people were taken to hospital after fire broke out at a Winnipeg auto shop Thursday night.

The City of Winnipeg said the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service was called to the business in the 100-block of Provencher Boulevard at 8:18 p.m.

Heavy smoke and flames were seen coming from the building. Crews began to fight the fire from the inside of the building but deteriorating conditions forced them outside, where they continued to fight the flames with the help of an aerial truck.

Firefighters also used a drone for “situational awareness”.

Annie Alarie said she was leaving the nearby Festival du Voyageur with her boyfriend when they realized something was burning.

“We just saw smoke and it started becoming more smoky,” she told CTV News. “And then we're like, okay it started smelling like rubber so there has to be a fire."

A bystander and five nearby residents were taken to hospital for smoke inhalation. All were described as being in stable condition.

The city cautioned people Thursday night to avoid the area. It said people who live nearby and are experiencing smoke conditions should remain indoors with their windows closed.

Both lanes of traffic on Provencher have reopened. As of Friday morning, fire crews can still be seen pouring water on the building.