by Stephen Dafoe

The remains of a Sturgeon County business were being demolished Tuesday afternoon after a fire ripped through A’bl Auto Electric Tuesday morning.

Sturgeon County Deputy Fire Chief Steve Douglas said the call came in around 7:20 a.m. Nov. 3 from the homeowner at 55317 Range Road 254.

“What we had is a very large automotive shop with a residential portion on the east side, all one structure,” Deputy Chief Douglas said, adding the fire appears to have started on the automotive side on the west side of the building. “It must have been smoldering for quite a while. Once it got some air earlier this morning, it took off right though the structure.”

Douglas said the fire got up into the attic and went from one end of the building to the other. The building’s stucco siding and tin roof made it difficult for firefighters to gain access to fight the fire.

Morinville was first on the scene, followed by Douglas, who called in Namao for mutual aid. Water trucks from Calahoo and Bon Accord were also called in to provide assistance in fighting the rural fire.

As of 12:30 p.m. Nov. 3 the fire has been deemed under control. Douglas said the task would then be to demolish what is left of the automotive side of the building.

“With the stucco wall and all the sheet metal that’s fallen in, firefighters are having a great amount of difficulty accessing any of the burning material,” Douglas said. “We’re going to have to start pulling the structure – what’s left of it – down to make it safe.”

Douglas said all residents and workers were out of the building with no injuries. There were two firefighter injuries during the call. Both were taken to Sturgeon hospital. One was released immediately upon arrival, and the other has since been released with no broken bones.

The majority of the attached home was destroyed; however, Deputy Chief Douglas said many contents, including photos, jewelry and other personal belongings were able to be removed.

The fire is still under investigation as to the cause.

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