A Sunday morning fire,and suspected explosions at a southeast business decimated the building as thick, billowing smoke hindered fire crews from entering the shop.

Michelle St Hillaire was sitting in her car in the parking lot of a fitness studio a short distance from Rachid's Auto in the 6400 block of 30 Street S.E. Sunday morning.  “I had the owner come and tell me to get out of my car," said St. Hilaire. "I looked up and saw a ton of smoke and all I could hear was a whole bunch of popping and exploding of what I guess was tires inside and just black smoke billowing up.”

"I'm really hoping no one was inside."

Fire crews responded to the dealership shortly before 10:00 a.m. and a second alarm, a request for additional resources, was immediately called.

“They noticed there were large volumes of smoke when they got on scene," said Calgary Fire Department Acting Battalion Chief Frank Ostrow. “The fire was very large. We had multiple fires in the building. We had smoke and flames coming from various sites and through the roof.”

Firefighters initiated a defensive approach to the blaze from above and from the ground but dangerous conditions prevented crews from entering the building. 

Once the fire was brought under control, firefighters entered the building and extinguished the fire from within. Crews searched the business and found no occupants. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Anyone who has video or photographs of the fire is asked to send an email to the Calgary FIre Department - Public Information Officer.