Jagjit Gill has been watching in disbelief since 4:45 a.m. Monday as firefighters battle the flames engulfing his business in northwest Winnipeg.
"It's pretty hard for me, very tough for me," he said. "It's hard to handle. I have no, I have no words for this."
Gill's Supermarket is in a strip mall on Keewatin Street at Kinver Avenue in the Tyndall Park neighbourhood, where emergency crews have closed Keewatin in both directions between Inkster Boulevard and Church Avenue as firefighters try to put out the flames.
Gill received an early morning call from his alarm company that something had triggered an alert at his store in the Keewatin Park strip mall. He checked the surveillance cameras, saw smoke and was at the store in 15 minutes.
"This looks like it's big damage, because they're right now working hard on the roof and then this … water is going inside [the] store, and probably there's a big hole on the roof now. So [it] looks like pretty bad conditions inside," Gill said.
He suspects the business "is going to be closed for some time."
Firefighters have also focused some hoses and aerial equipment on the KFC restaurant next to Gill's store in the mall.
Gill has another store on Pembina Highway, in the city's south end, but said the Keewatin one was the busiest.
Keewatin is expected to be closed through much of the morning, the City of Winnipeg's Transportation Management Centre said in posts on X (formerly Twitter).
Another fire in the city has closed a stretch of road north of downtown.
Fire crews have shut down Elgin Avenue between Isabel and Ellen streets. It's not clear what is burning in that mostly residential area in the Centennial neighbourhood.
Drivers are urged to find alternative routes and avoid both areas while fire crews are working.