St. Boniface Blaze One of the ‘Largest Fires’ City Has Ever Faced

What’s left of Speedway International on Nicolas Avenue after a fire on Monday. (STAN MILOSEVIC / CHRISD.CA)
Deputy Fire Chief Bill Clark speaks to the media on Tuesday about the fire at Speedway International. (STAN MILOSEVIC / CHRISD.CA)

Monday night’s massive fire in St. Boniface was among the largest the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service has ever faced.

Deputy Fire Chief Bill Clark revealed on Tuesday his crews have only fought a fire on that scale a handful of times. Thankfully, there were no injuries or loss of life in the $15-million blaze at Speedway International.

“We were dealing with volatile fuels, such as methanol, ethanol and some racing fuels. There was also biodiesel,” Clark said.

The WFPS had 61 members on site to battle the fire using 19 pieces of equipment, including pumper units, rescue units and aerial ladders.

Mayor Sam Katz thanked emergency responders in a statement.

“Our emergency services crews became very concerned about public safety when they realized rail cars containing various highly flammable fuels were located in close proximity to the fire,” Katz said via e-mail. “Our fire paramedic and police officers did an excellent job establishing a safety perimeter and alerting area residents to evacuate and I commend them for their work.”

Two city buses were used as temporary shelter for approximately 100 evacuees, as well as the Fort Garry Curling Club.

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