The cleanup and investigation will continue Friday after a massive and devastating fire in downtown Windsor.

An investigator from the Ontario Fire Marshal's office is now in the city to help investigate the cause of the fire.

The blaze on Wyandotte Street East has left at least two businesses with extensive damage, including the El Mayor restaurant and Peter’s Unisex Hair Salon.

Seven people staying at nearby Street Help were displaced due to the smoke.

Firefighters were called to the 900 block of Wyandotte Street near Parent Avenue before 1 a.m. Thursday and have spent most of the day on the scene. The section of road was re-opened nearly 17 hours later, around 6 p.m.

According to Windsor Fire and Rescue, the initial call was a garbage fire, but firefighters could not find one. Instead, they found smoke coming from the building that houses the restaurant and hair salon.

Nearby resident Francine Doucette tells CTV Windsor the flames were intense.

“They were coming from the roof about 20 feet high,” says Doucette. “The flames even shooting out of the sides as they were putting in holes to extinguish the flames, it was just ridiculous."

District Chief Winton Marchant tells CTV Windsor it was a stubborn fire to fight.

“The fire quickly took a deep seat, a very aggressive fire,” says Marchant. “At that point. we had to use a defensive strategy, that means we don't enter the structure, there's just too much risk involved."

Eight fire engines, including two aerial trucks, were used to battle the blaze. 

No injuries have been reported, but the damage is extensive. Officials are still trying to determine a dollar amount.

The owners of El Mayor and Peter’s Unisex Hair Salon say they devastated by the loss, but thankful no one was hurt.

Still, about 20 employees and their families will be affected.



The electricity was also out for most of the day Thursday for many businesses and residents in the neighbourhood.

At Street Help, administrator Christine Wilson-Furlonger says they arrived at the centre in her pajamas and found dense smoke inside their building.

She adds seven people were moved as a precaution, and they will also have to throw away food because of the smoke and lack of electricity.