Manitoba

Fire destroys tire and auto shop in Birtle, Man., forces evacuation of buildings

Thick smoke forced the evacuation of buildings in Birtle, Man. on Tuesday, as firefighters battled a blaze that destroyed an automotive repair shop.

Firefighters from 3 communities, along with nearby Hutterite colony, battle blaze

Fire destroyed this building on the west end of Main Street in Birtle, Man., on Tuesday. (Google Maps)

Thick smoke forced the evacuation of buildings in Birtle, Man. on Tuesday, as firefighters battled a blaze that destroyed an automotive repair shop.

An employee at Birtle Tire and Auto on Main Street called in the alarm at 9:39 a.m., said Andrew Brydon, deputy chief with the town's fire department.

"It was very smoky," he said. "It's an old garage ... there was a lot of tires, there was one vehicle inside, plus one off-road vehicle."

Although no other structures were threatened by the blaze, Brydon said winds coming out of the west forced the evacuation of the nearby town office and a couple of other buildings. Staff at the Prairie View municipal office relocated to Miniota for the day, but were expected to return on Wednesday.

Brydon said the fire was finally extinguished at around 3 p.m., at which point the building was "a total loss." In all, he said about 30 firefighters and five trucks from Birtle, Shoal Lake, Miniota and the Monarch Valley Hutterite colony helped to battle the blaze.

"We had lots of people from around town, as well as the maintenance staff from the Prairie View municipality."

Brydon said nobody was hurt in the blaze. The office of the fire commissioner is investigating the cause of the fire.

Birtle is 284 kilometres west of Winnipeg.

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