Manitoba

Flames shot through roof of Main Street A&W: fire officials

Crews are expected to be battling a fire on Main Street near Inkster Boulevard well into Sunday evening.
When fire-paramedic crews arrived at the A&W at 5:17 p.m. the building was fully engulfed, with flames shooting through the roof. (Travis Golby/CBC)

Crews are expected to be battling a fire on Main Street near Inkster Boulevard well into Sunday evening. 

When fire-paramedic crews arrived at the A&W at 5:17 p.m. the building was fully engulfed, with flames shooting through the roof. 

Crews had to abandon an offensive attack because the fire was throwing off huge amounts of fire and heavy smoke. They retreated to a defensive strategy, which will mean battling the blaze into Sunday evening. 

Speaking to reporters at the scene of the fire, chief John Lane said grease from cooking can often accumulate in the roofs of restaurants, which can make fires in buildings like the A&W more difficult to put out.

He said Sunday's frigid temperatures pose problems too.

Winnipeg's fire chief says cold temperatures can cause a fire to burn faster and faster. (Travis Golby/CBC)

"First of all, the cold itself makes the air denser, there's more oxygen for the fire so it burns faster and hotter," he said.

"And of course… we have to really be careful as far as things icing up, we have to keep lines running all the time so they don't freeze.

"It all just makes a difficult job all the more difficult."

Lane said 18 units were at the scene, with crews cycling through to fight the fire.

Eighteen units helped to battle the fire. (Travis Gobly/CBC)

Everyone in the restaurant had exited safely before crews arrived. No injuries have been reported. 

The cause and a damage estimate have not yet been determined. 

Drivers are asked to avoid the area.

Vehicle fire on Maryland

Crews were able to quickly put out a vehicle fire that broke out in the 600 block of Maryland Street around 5:20 p.m. It had spread to an adjacent garage, but no injuries have been reported. 

The cause of the fire is under investigation. 

Winnipeg fire crews also fought off blazes on Hamilton Meadows Drive in west Winnipeg and at a Portage Avenue gym on Sunday.