Warehouse fire cause likely never to be determined; damage at $4 million

The cause of a massive warehouse fire last week will likely never be determined, a spokesperson for the Saskatoon Fire Department said Friday.

“There are too many variables and too much damage that we won’t be able to determine the cause of the fire,” said assistant chief Bill Coffin. “I think we’re at our limit now.”

The fire started in the northwest section of the Canadian Tire warehouse, near a large overhead door. Damage is estimated at $4 million.

Coffin said that heating appliances were stored in the area where the fire started and that the section was highly exposed to electricity.

He said crews have spent the past few days chipping away ice, but that the fire investigator likely won’t be able to find the cause.

“He’s got all the information he can collect,” Coffin said.

Fire crews were first called to the warehouse on the 100 block of 107th Street East around 4 p.m. Feb. 14. Smoke was billowing into the sky and the fire was so strong that crews were initially unable to enter the building. They were forced to first prevent flames from spreading to neighbouring buildings.

Crews spent nearly 20 hours on the scene and officials said every truck in the city attended the blaze at one point during the night. 14 alarms were called during the course of the battle. There were about 30 firefighters and seven trucks on scene for the majority of the fire.

The department was called back briefly the next evening after the fire…

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