Fire Fighting in Canada

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Fire destroys two-storey building in downtown Halifax

Sept. 15, 2014, Halifax - Smoke filled the air for several hours in an area of downtown Halifax after a fire destroyed a two-storey commercial building.

September 15, 2014
By The Canadian Press

Halifax Fire Department division commander Scott Shaffner said the blaze broke out in a building just off Gottingen Street just before 8 a.m. Sunday.

The building at 5426 Portland Place houses several businesses and is located behind a Staples store.

Shaffner said at its height the fire threw intense heat and required as many as 10 fire units to bring under control.

He said initially crews tried to battle the fire from the inside but soon had to withdraw from the building.

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"About a half hour into it we went defensive meaning we pulled all of our crews out — the fire just got ahead of us.''

Shaffner said a storage area containing furniture and a large number of mattresses helped accelerate the fire which eventually collapsed the building.

He said 14 people were removed from a row of townhouses between Portland Place and Cogswell Street and no injuries were reported.

Shaffner said the fire was considered under control shortly after 11 a.m.

"The walls have caved inwards on the structure and we are just wetting it down,'' he said.

There was no immediate word on the cause and Shaffner said department investigators would take over the scene once remaining smoldering spots had been doused.


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