Destructive blaze at Calgary auto recycling facility under investigation

A massive blaze at an automotive recycling facility in northeast Calgary is under investigation by the Calgary Police Service Arson Unit.

Crews were called to the 2700 block of 5 Avenue N.E. just after 1 a.m. on Tuesday.

The first arriving fire crew discovered two separate buildings on fire, as well as numerous cars.

Calgary Fire Department Battalion Chief Alan Ball said additional help was requested due to the size of the blaze.

“Our first on-scene officer encountered two separate buildings just about fully involved, then requested additional apparatus.”

Responding crews also had to deal with numerous small explosions from the gas tanks in vehicles on the property.

The Calgary Fire Department responds to a building fire in the 2700 block of 5 Avenue N.E. at around 1 a.m. on Thursday, July 28, 2016.

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“[Firefighters] made a decision early to divide their resources and attack both buildings from a defensive position simultaneously,” Ball said.

Crews used an elevated platform and large volumes of water to contain the blaze to the business where it originated.

As of 9 a.m., firefighters hadn’t yet been able to carry out a search of the interiors or either building.

“Searches of the buildings will be done when it is deemed safe to do so,” the Calgary Fire Department said in a news release.

The fire department said the fire is considered suspicious, and an investigation is underway to determine how it started.

“We’ve actually asked the Calgary Police Service arson investigation team to come in and assist us with this,” Ball said.

The lease holder is cooperating with the investigation.

According to Ball, one firefighter had to be transported to hospital after sustaining a cut on his hand.

GALLERY: Damaged caused by a fire in the 2700 block of 5 Avenue N.E. 

Significant damage was caused by a fire in the 2700 block of 5 Avenue N.E. on Thursday, July 28, 2016.

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Significant damage was caused by a fire in the 2700 block of 5 Avenue N.E. on Thursday, July 28, 2016.

Global News

Significant damage was caused by a fire in the 2700 block of 5 Avenue N.E. on Thursday, July 28, 2016.

Global News

Significant damage was caused by a fire in the 2700 block of 5 Avenue N.E. on Thursday, July 28, 2016.

Global News / Doug Vaessen

Significant damage was caused by a fire in the 2700 block of 5 Avenue N.E. on Thursday, July 28, 2016.

Global News / Doug Vaessen