Demolition begins on historic Portage Avenue building that went up in flames in February

The teardown of a 110-year-old Winnipeg building that was destroyed by a fire earlier this year has begun.

The Kirkwood Block, at the corner of Portage Avenue and Langside Street, went up in flames on Feb. 2, displacing the people, small businesses and community organizations that called it home.

On Friday, heavy machinery, including a front-end loader and an excavator, removed piles of debris from around the remains of the historic building.

Crews said demolition is expected to be finished by Monday.

Earlier this month, the City of Winnipeg said it had issued a demolition permit for the building, which was built in 1912.

The blaze seriously damaged the structure, which was deemed a writeoff.

Fire crews struggled to extinguish the blaze, as extremely cold temperatures froze hoses and water lines. 

Since the fire, pylons and construction fences have blocked sidewalks near the building, as rubble lay scattered around.

The fire remains under investigation, city spokesperson David Driedger said in an email on Friday.

Not a Donut, the sign still visible amid the wreckage of the Kirkwood Block building, was among several small businesses displaced by the fire in February. (Travis Golby/CBC)

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