Smoke seen billowing from business in Chatham (VIDEO)

The scene of a fire on Hart Place in Chatham. October 9, 2019. (Photo by Allanah Wills)

Chatham-Kent Fire crews are investigating a blaze that sparked at a business in Chatham’s east end.

Firefighters were called to a business on Hart Place just off of Sass Road at around 9 a.m. for reports of a structure fire.

Fire officials said a 44-year-old man and a 61-year old man, who work at QPS Mechanical, were taken to the Chatham hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation.

“Our teams were on scene very quickly to attack this rapidly developing fire and they prevented the spread to other businesses. As well as working with our EMS colleagues to help the two people injured we engaged the help of our Economic Development department to come directly to scene and support the business owner during this challenging time,” said Operations Chief Chris Case in a statement. “This incident has been a joint effort by a large number of officers and teams and demonstrates once again the commitment all agencies have to protect lives and livelihoods.”

Details on a cause or damage estimate are unknown at this time as fire operations are on-going. Fire officials said there has been a partial collapse of the structure.

Residents are being asked to avoid the area and anyone with a business or a residence in the area around the fire should make sure they close their windows and doors to prevent toxic smoke from getting in. Firefighters, along with other emergency responders and municipal departments, will remain at the scene.

The Ontario Fire Marshal’s office and the Ministry of Labour have been notified.