Sam Colbert and Dina Fanara
Managing Editor and Assistant News Editor
Construction workers at the site of the to-be Shoppers Drug Mart and Starbucks building on Main Street West and Emerson Street, across the road from McMaster, caused a fire after hitting a gas line on March 15 around 1:40 p.m.
Emergency vehicles surrounded the building as the intersection and surrounding streets were closed off. The eastbound ramp for Highway 403 to Main Street was also temporarily closed. The businesses, some of the homes and the nearby elementary school close to the building were evacuated and without power until the fire was extinguished. Power remained out in the surrounding neighbourhood for a few hours.
Fire fighters, who arrived on the scene almost immediately, did not extinguish the flames until gas could be shut off, as this was deemed to be the safest plan of action. Union Gas did not arrive on the scene until 2:20 p.m., some time after the start of the fire.
Flames could be seen from the south side of the building, reaching up to the top of the two stories. Traffic from Main Street was re-routed to side streets south of Main and through campus.
No major injuries were reported.