Chilliwack Fire Department crews battle an industrial building at the corner of Nowell Street and Fourth Avenue that started at around 11 a.m. on May 2, 2019. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

VIDEO: Explosions, massive fire at Chilliwack industrial building

Welding equipment inside business adjacent to residential area near downtown Chilliwack

A dramatic fire Thursday morning at a Chilliwack industrial site adjacent to residential homes destroyed at least one building and had neighbours all over streets and lawns watching the crews in action.

Several explosions could be heard as flames ripped the building at the corner of Nowell Street and Fourth Avenue at approximately 10:30 a.m., the home of Target Steel and Sea Container.

By the time crews from multiple firehalls arrived on the scene, neighbours who had heard explosions, saw flames or smelled smoke came out to see what was happening.

The building in question is on Fourth Avenue adjacent to residential homes both on Third Avenue and Nowell. At least one neighbour was hosing down his garage on the lane behind the fire as crews began spreading water on the blaze.

One neighbour on Third Avenue said he called 911 when it started.

“It happened so quick,” he said. “We were on the porch, heard one big bang and then all the cladding off the side of the building just blew off. I phoned 911 and ran down, but there was no way I could get to the building.”

According to the company’s Facebook page, Target customizes steel containers for shipping and storage. The work involves welding, and one neighbour said there were definitely acetylene tanks in the building.

“I don’t know if there was somebody working there today.”

As fire crews battled the flames, a huge column of black smoke billowed out from the building that was visible from across the city.

BC Hydro and Fortis Gas were also on scene to shut down services in the nearby area.

There is no word on the cause of the fire or if there were any civilian or firefighter injuries yet.

See www.theprogress.com for more details as they become available.


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

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Neighbours watch as Chilliwack Fire Department crews battle an industrial building at the corner of Nowell Street and Fourth Avenue that started at around 11 a.m. on May 2, 2019. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

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