Edmonton firefighters battle blaze at Strathcona Hotel building on Whyte Avenue

WATCH ABOVE: A two-alarm blaze broke out at the landmark Strathcona Hotel late Friday night. The fire department says there's no cause yet for the fire. Julia Wong reports.

Crews were called to fight a fire at a historic building on Edmonton’s Whyte Avenue on Friday night.

A spokesperson for Edmonton Fire Rescue Services told Global News they were alerted to the fire at 9:26 p.m. and crews arrived at the scene just four minutes later.

Over 40 firefighters worked with 10 rigs to battle the blaze, which was called under control at 2 a.m.

“It’s an old building, an old structure, wood construction,” said District Chief Martin Prins with Edmonton Fire Rescue Services.

Prins said fire crews battled the blaze on the second and third floors. When they arrived it had spread to the attic.

“The biggest challenge we had was getting access to the attic area,” Prins added.

Firefighters were still on scene Saturday morning putting out hot spots.

Traffic was blocked in all directions at Gateway Boulevard and Whyte Avenue except for vehicles heading north and turning left onto Whyte Avenue.
Images captured by Global News’ Skytracker camera showed thick plumes of smoke billowing over parts of the Strathcona community.
Fire investigators are still working to determine what caused the fire.

READ MORE: Old building, new life: New chapter for Strathcona Hotel building in Edmonton

The Strathcona Hotel building has stood on Whyte Avenue for nearly 130 years but was recently closed and sold to a developer.

Global News spoke to the developer in January, who said many upgrades were needed to bring the building up to code.

“The building is not fire rated at all, it does not have sprinklers, so we’re going to be adding that to the building,” Ivan Beljan said.

In a statement to Global News Sunday, Beljan said he was deeply saddened by the fire at the Strathcona Hotel but he remains “committed to restoring this historic Edmonton landmark to the high standards that we set out to achieve.”

Watch below: (From January 2019) A local developer is stepping up to bring new life to an instantly recognizable building in Edmonton’s Old Strathcona that’s nearly 130 years old. Vinesh Pratap reports.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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