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Massive fire and explosion in Winnipeg

Fire sparked at building that houses biofuel used for car racing
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WINNIPEG - Thick, black smoke and flames are spewing from a Winnipeg warehouse that holds highly explosive fuel used for car racing.

Dozens of emergency vehicles were on site at Speedway International, a company that boasts on its website that it is "North America's No. 1 source for 99.99 per cent racing methanol."

Witnesses say a huge fireball went up in the air after the initial explosion on Monday afternoon.

Employees say the good news is that no one was inside the building at the time and everyone has been accounted for.

However, there are worries because there are train cars sitting nearby that also contain the racing fuel.

Some people say they can feel heat on their faces from blocks away.

There are media reports that some residents who live in nearby residential areas are being asked to leave their homes as a precaution.

Speedway International says its Pro Comp racing methanol can be shipped throughout North America in sealed 55-gallon drums via tank trucks and by rail.

"Pro Comp racing methanol will provide more horsepower, more torque and longer engine life than any other industrial grade or off-spec methanol," the company says on its website.

It says the fuel is used for drag racing and Indy car racing.

(CJOB, The Canadian Press)