Fire crews are expected to be on the scene of an enormous blaze at the old Peel Memorial Hospital site in Brampton through the night as they work to extinguish the fire.

“The majority of the fire right now is burning at the forms that are supporting the new concrete that’s been poured. We also have concern – there are two cranes on the site – to protect the cranes from exposure to the fire,” Brampton Fire Chief Michael Clark told CP24 at the scene.

The fire broke out around 7:30 p.m. at the construction site on Lynch Street, located near Queen and Centre streets where a new health centre is being built.

Initial mages from the scene showed heavy smoke and flames around the base of a crane on the site and flames were still visible hours later.

“The challenge we have is getting penetration into the deepest part of the building,” Clark said. “It is a very deep building and because we have the concrete pads and the concrete floor, it’s difficult for the streams to gain access to the fire.”

Brampton Fire said nine trucks were responding to the blaze.

Firefighters initially had trouble accessing water to fight the fire as all the plumbing had been removed from the building, but they eventually brought in two pumper truck to work around the issue, Peel Regional Police Const. Lily Fitzpatrick told CP24 at the scene.

She said firefighters were also being hampered by a coating one some of the wooden support beams at the site that made it difficult to extinguish the flames.

Fitzpatrick said air quality was being monitored but there was no immediate concern.

“Because we have no wind tonight, which is in our favour, there’s no concern for the safety of the residents in the area,” she said.

Fitzpatrick said everyone was out of the site and no injuries have been reported.

It was not immediately clear how the fire started and officials said it’s too early to say whether it might be suspicious.

Clark said The Office of the Fire Marshall has been notified but it’s not clear whether they will attend the scene.

“We’re going to be doing the investigation after the fire’s out in the morning,” he said.

Asked about the fact that there was a health centre under construction at the site, Clark said the fire was a big setback for the community.

“That’s the real tragedy here,” Clark said. “This is something the citizens of Brampton are really looking forward to, the real revitalization of this campus area and it’s a tragic setback.”

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