The early morning fire on Christmas day, which affected a minimum of eight businesses in Edmonton’s north end, has been declared “suspicious” in view of a pickup truck parked right in front of the Bonanza restaurant, around the time of firefighters’ arrival. The firefighters reached 137 Avenue and 125 Street after a phone call around at 1:50 a.m. on Tuesday. The Bonanza Buffet Co. building was completely lit in flames upon the arrival of firefighters, as the fire upgraded to a three-alarm blaze.
The firefighters report that temperature at the time was -25c, along with light winds. They claim that damage might have increased proportionally in case the winds were stronger. Firefighters alleged they encountered equipment freezing, but boasted of their constant water supply. During the peak hours of firefighting, the department had a total of sixteen crews, i.e. 80 firefighters, covering up the fire which caused damage to eight nearby businesses. One firefighter sustained a minor injury. Initial report claims that damages are calculated up to $10 and $12 million.
Almost around 5 a.m., authorities claim that Cora’s restaurant, Belvedere Cycle and Sports and a local daycare were rescued, though other businesses still remained affected by the blaze, including three restaurants, a pet store, a cycle shop and the Love Boutique. The representatives of Atco, Epcor and Alberta Health Services have attended the scene. The board of Bonanza restaurant has planned to hold a staff meeting on Thursday at a new location to converse on the issues ahead.
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