Industrial fire in west Edmonton caused by roofing torch

Investigators are on the scene in west Edmonton after a fire spread through a two-storey industrial building Friday evening.
Crews were called out Friday evening to a fire in an industrial area in west Edmonton. (Scott Neufeld/CBC)

A fire that broke out in a two-storey industrial building in west Edmonton Friday evening was caused by a roofing torch, say Edmonton Fire Rescue investigators.

Workers were on the roof of the Iron Furniture building, located near 158th Street and 112th Avenue earlier in the day. A fire spokesperson said the torch was still hot and smouldering when the workers had gone home.

Fire crews were called to the site around 5:30 p.m.

At that time, the ceiling of the main floor was on fire, which spread to the second storey of the building within seconds of the crew’s arrival.

“It appeared there was some roofing work being done on it, so there was some propane tanks on the roof,” said District Chief Don Cherniawksi when describing the scene.

He said firefighters were pulled out of the building when the main floor ceiling began to collapse, but that crews were able to get the fire under control shortly afterwards. 

Cherniawksi said it appears the building was empty when the fire started.

The blaze caused an estimated $800,000 in damages.