Dark plumes of smoke were coming out of a downtown commercial building on Jasper Avenue and 117 Street Wednesday morning.

Firefighters were notified by passing motorists and people in the neighbourhood before 6 a.m. No one was in the building when crews arrived and no flammables were found.

District Chief Howard Samycia said it was challenging to determine where the fire started but concluded it was sparked in a basement unit of a kitchen and lounge.

“Due to the logistics, it’s very difficult to ventilate basements so it took crews a while to determine exactly where the fire was located,” Samycia said.

The owners of Lounge 117 told CTV News their business was scheduled to open later this summer.

Samcyia said the building is not a write-off. It’s unclear how much smoke and fire damage the businesses sustained.

Investigators have not determined how the fire started.

A portion of Jasper Avenue between 116 and 118 Street was closed for a couple of hours while crews battled the blaze, but has re-opened before 9 a.m.

“It’s ironic, isn’t it?” 

The commercial building also houses Circus Nightclub, which is permanently closed, and Maximo’s Pizza and Donair, which is listed for sale.

Maximo’s owner, Riza Kasikcioglu, made headlines after running into a burning apartment building across the street and saving at least four people in January 2017.

Governor General Julie Payette recently awarded a Medal of Bravery for his actions.

“It’s an ironic thing, isn’t it? That the hero of Jasper Avenue – his building isn’t occupied – but subject to a fire,” resident James Smibert said

Months after the apartment fire, Kasikcioglu was diagnosed with a benign brain tumour and the local Turkish community rallied behind him to help revamp his business to help him save it.

But Kasikcioglu was forced to put Maximo’s for sale in the spring, saying the brain surgery impacted his mobility and cognitive skills, and staying on his feet for long hours proved to be too difficult.

With files from Jonathan Glasgow