A raging fire early Friday morning destroyed an auto repair business on Old Sambro Road in Harrietsfield.
The fire at Harrietsfield Collision Centre was reported around 2 a.m. and was well advanced when the first Halifax Regional firefighters arrived on the scene, said divisional chief Dave Meldrum.
“There was heavy fire and smoke throughout the entire structure,” Meldrum said. “This was an obvious defensive fire (attack). There was never a reasonable probability of going interior on this one.”
He said firefighters expect to deal with paints, solvents and welding supplies in fires at these types of businesses.
“There were certainly explosion- like sounds heard during the fire attack; it could be any kind of pressure vessels or storage containers venting and releasing suddenly,” he said.
Crews used a large number of air cylinders while fighting the fire because of the heavy smoke, Meldrum said. “All smoke is toxic, but when you’re talking about paint, solvents and other devices, it’s even more of a concern.”
Meldrum said he didn’t know if there were any vehicles inside the building at the time, but several that were parked close to it were damaged.
By early afternoon firefighters were still dealing with hot spots in the debris of the two-storey building, which had three bays. Meldrum said an excavator was brought in to help with those efforts.
Fire investigators were on the scene waiting for the remains of the building to be deemed safe so they could start looking for the cause of the blaze.
There is no hydrant system in the area, and nine tankers were used at various times through the night to take water to the scene.
There were no injuries. The road was closed for about 10 hours.