Edmonton fire destroys commercial building

A fire, which destroyed an industrial building housing six businesses in northeast Edmonton, is now under control as firefighters continue to extinguish hot spots.
Fire destroyed a commercial building at 121st Avenue and 68th Street which housed a number of businesses, Tuesday. (CBC)

Six businesses went up in flames Wednesday morning when a fire destroyed an industrial building in northeast Edmonton.

"It's devastating," said Denise Foss, with Foss Cabinet Works. "And it's even worse to see my husband crying."

The building was totally destroyed. (cbc)

"It's our livelihood," she said. "It means people out of jobs. It's just really hard."

Another business destroyed was a family business called Affordable Food Stop, which sold groceries in damaged packages at reduced prices.

On Wednesday customers arrived to see the building in rubble.

"I loved the people who worked there," said Donna Schroffel.

A friend, who works as a foster mother, would come from out of town to buy her groceries at the store, she said.

"She would spend half her amount here and take more home compared to going to a regular store," said Schroffel.

An Edmonton police officer called in the fire at 11:10 p.m. Tuesday after he saw smoke billowing from the building at 121st Avenue and 68th Street.

During the fire, officials became alarmed when a fire crew inside the building lost contact with commanding officers when a section of the roof collapsed.

Fire officials called a Mayday, but all the firefighters emerged from the building moments later unharmed. 

About 50 firefighters were on scene at the height of the fire.

Damage estimate to the 17,760 square-foot building and its contents is pegged at $6 million.

The fire started in a northeast bay of the building, but the cause is not yet known.