Members of the Prince Albert Fire Department extinguish a fire at a residence on the 500 block of 28th Street East. -- Prince Albert Fire Department/Submitted

An investigation is underway to determine the cause of a fire in a residence on the 500 block of 28th Street East.

Crews from the Prince Albert Fire Department were called to the scene at around 8:15 a.m. on Sunday, and worked to extinguish the fire until roughly 2:30 p.m. Smoke and flames were already visible by the time firefighters arrived.

Battalion Chief Anton Lavallie said a fire in the basement weakened the structure’s floor, making it too dangerous for fire crews to work inside. He also said the structure will likely be torn down due to the high level of fire and water damage.

“It’s unfortunate when stuff like this happens,” he said. “We do our best to try and save it, but in our case, because of the compromised main floor, I was concerned about our guys being in an area where there’s a possibility for a collapse.”

The building’s lone occupant escaped unharmed and was already outside when fire crews arrived on scene.

Temperatures dropped to as low as -18 C while firefighters battled the blaze. Lavallie said the conditions weren’t ideal, but added that it could have been much worse.

“I don’t think there’s anybody here who wasn’t a little bit frozen,” he said. “It was chilly out there, but not as bad as it can be.”