Fire Fighting in Canada

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Massive Brandon fire may have been human-caused: Police

June 19, 2018, Brandon, Man. - Police say a massive blaze that destroyed multiple buildings and caused about $25 million in damages in a western Manitoba city may have been started by people.

June 19, 2018
By The Canadian Press

Sgt. Jeff Hoad, spokesman for Brandon police, said multiple witnesses saw several people in the area behind Christie’s Office Plus in Brandon just before the building was engulfed in flames May 19.

He said police do not know yet whether the fire was deliberately set or if it was an accident. Hoad said there is also no evidence that operations on the rail line, located near where the fire started, sparked the blaze.

Fire crews were called out during the afternoon of May 19 but strong winds spread flaming debris from the office building to neighbouring businesses and an apartment complex across the street.

Many of the buildings were completely destroyed and others had extensive damage, including the 58-unit Massey Manor apartment building.

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The Brandon Police Service, Office of the Fire Commissioner, Brandon Fire and Emergency Services and Canadian Pacific Police Service are all investigating.

“I’m Brandon born and raised, and I don’t recall of any incident of this magnitude affecting so many people,” Hoad said. “That would explain why so many of these agencies are involved in this investigation.”