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Blaze guts historic Edmonton building

Thick smoke and the smell of burned wood filled the air around 102 Avenue and 95 Street yesterday afternoon.

Thick smoke and the smell of burned wood filled the air around 102 Avenue and 95 Street yesterday afternoon.

A large crowd gathered around the Edmonton Auto Spring Works building, founded in 1914, and watched the historic building being gutted by a fire.

“The building, by and large, has collapsed,” said deputy chief of operations John Lamb about an hour after firefighters got the call.

More than 50 firefighters took a defensive approach to the fire because the roof collapsed and two walls failed early into the blaze.

“It’s a shame to lose any building but in particular some of the landmarks are a big loss to the city,” Lamb said. “At this point this building is pretty well a write off.”

The building was originally a blacksmith business but has mostly been a mechanic shop for the near-century it’s been around.

The city estimates the fire caused $2.5 million in damage.