Investigators say the cause of an overnight blaze that destroyed a building near downtown Saskatoon is suspicious.
The Saskatoon Fire Department said it was notified by police at 1:41 a.m. Monday of a structure fire in the 100 block of Avenue B South.
Crews said they arrived two minutes later to find a fully involved structure fire with heavy smoke in the area.
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The roof and north wall of the building collapsed 20 minutes after the initial call came, fire department officials said.
Firefighters had taken an exterior defensive battle against the fire prior to the collapse.
They adjusted their focus to suppression, precautions and planning for a further collapse of the building, fire officials said.
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At around 6 a.m., crews called in an excavator from the city to take down the structure so that firefighters could fully put out the fire.
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The SFD said additional crews were brought in throughout the response to the fire to provide relief for firefighters.
Crews were wrapping up firefighting operations at around 10 a.m., according to a statement from the fire department.
Damage is estimated at $900,000.
The SFD said an investigator has determined the cause and origin of the fire, but has not released that information. The department said it will support the police investigation if requested.
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