A fire at a lumber yard is causing the skies in downtown Winnipeg to be filled with dark smoke Sunday morning.
The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service responded to reports of the blaze at around 1:36 a.m. Sunday morning, a news release from the City of Winnipeg said. A second alarm was called, which meant more crews responded to the scene at Logan Avenue.
Logan Avenue and Alexander Avenue between Arlington Street and McPhillips Street are closed, the release said.
“Gigantic fire, insane amount of smoke,” said Bryce Chan, who lives close to the fire.
“This is a lot of smoke, smoke damage in the entire area,” said Steven Bruce, who is an associate of a business in the area that works on cars. Bruce was worried Sunday morning about how the smoke may impact cars at the garage.
Six homes on Alexander Avenue have been temporarily evacuated as a precaution and residents are temporarily taking shelter in Winnipeg Transit buses.
District chief for the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service John Senkowsky said he spoke to the owner of the building, who said various lumber products, hardware, paints and varnishes are inside. Senkowsky said he expects crews to remain on scene until late afternoon.
Senkowsky said one firefighter sustained a “slight injury” but was assessed on scene and didn’t need to be taken to hospital.
Senkowsky said crews are more concerned about the air quality of the area. He said the smoke will likely be staying low “for the next while.” He’s advising people stay inside with doors and windows closed. He said Winnipeg Transit is at the scene and available to take people elsewhere if needed.
“Air quality is going to be very poor … due to the relatively high humidity and the air wind speeds,” he said.
The <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Winnipeg?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Winnipeg</a> Fire Paramedic Service is responding to a major industrial fire in the 900 block of Logan Avenue. Logan Avenue and Alexander Avenue between McPhillips Street and Arlington Street are closed. Crews will be on scene well into the day. Please avoid the area.
The City of Winnipeg also said in a tweet Sunday morning that people are being asked to avoid the area. They’re also encouraging residents who live near the fire to close any windows and doors to protect the air quality in their homes.