By The Canadian Press
Winnipeg - A vacant, century-old Winnipeg apartment block has been turned into charred rubble after a spectacular fire that generated huge flames and a pillar of smoke that could be seen from several kilometres away.
The downtown four-storey building caught fire early Monday evening.
About 40 firefighters tackled the blaze while an evacuation of some surrounding blocks was carried out and Manitoba Hydro shut down power lines in the area as a precaution.
No one was hurt and the flames were brought under control within a few hours.
Demolition crews were called in later in the evening due to a risk of debris collapsing on a building next door.
The flames and smoke drew a huge crowd to the block, which was facing demolition.
Kim Wesley, who lives near the site, said it attracted trouble.
"I've seen all kinds of people that shouldn't be going in there trying to get in there all the time. I don't even like walking past that building when it gets dark.''
One witness said he saw kids running in and out of the building just before the flames erupted.
The cause of the fire has not been determined.