The morning fire destroys the building near downtown Saskatoon

Investigators have not yet determined the cause of the overnight explosion that destroyed a building near downtown Saskatoon.

The Saskatoon Fire Department said it was informed by police about the structure fire in the 100 block of Avenue B South at 1:41 p.m.

Crews said they arrived two minutes later to find the structure fire fully covered with heavy smoke in the area.

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Fire department officials said the roof and north wall of the building collapsed 20 minutes after the initial call came.

Firefighters carried out an external defensive battle against the fire before the collapse.

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Fire officials said they had shifted their focus to suppression, precautions and planning for another collapse of the building, fire officials said.

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Around 6 a.m., crews called in an excavation from the city to bring down the structure so that firefighters could extinguish the fire completely.

The SFD said an additional crew was brought in response to the fire to provide relief to firefighters.

Gabriella Panza-Beltrandi / Global News.

Gabriella Panza-Beltrandi / Global News

According to a statement from the fire department, around 10 pm the crew started a fire operation.

Investigators from the SFD and the Saskatoon Police Service are yet to ascertain the cause of the blaze.

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