A lack of fire hydrants in an area of northwest Edmonton has been blamed for making work difficult for firefighters, as they battled a blaze that destroyed a business in the area.

Crews responded to the burning building around 6:30 p.m., but could not save the structure.

A semi, parked inside, was also lost to the flames and another vehicle was damaged.

District Fire Chief Larry Walsh said workers inside were welding when a spark ignited the fire.

Bystanders watched as the fire grew – some vented their frustrations over the lack of fire hydrants in the area.

“The man’s shop is gone, his truck is gone, his livelihood is gone,” Elaine Wiley said. “The City of Edmonton has seen fit to eliminate this subdivision from the new development plan.

“We have no water and sewer here.”

“It means that we can’t have as many hand lines with the amount of pressure that we normally have in a hydrant area,” Walsh said. “So it is restricting our ability to fight the fire for sure.

One employee was sent to hospital with burns to his hands.