Fire officials say explosions were heard as a fire ripped through an autobody shop in the Halifax area early Friday morning.

Police and fire crews responded to Harrietsfield Auto Services on Old Sambro Road around 2 a.m.

Halifax Regional Fire Division Commander Mike Blackburn says roughly 55 firefighters responded to the building, which was engulfed in flames when they arrived on scene.

“Fully involved, heavy volumes of smoke coming throughout the building,” says Blackburn.

Blackburn says there were also a number of explosions due to a number of chemicals in the shop.

“I wouldn’t be able to tell you how many chemicals are in there or what types, but throughout the night there was major explosions, numerous explosions, and again that contributed to the heavy volume of fire I’m sure,” he says.

Blackburn says residents of a nearby home had already evacuated their home as a precaution before crews arrived on scene. They have since returned to their home.

Blackburn says the building wasn’t occupied and no one was injured, but one firefighter was treated at the scene for minor smoke inhalation.

“He seemed to be pretty healthy when he left the scene,” he says.

Old Sambro Road was closed between Duggan Lane in Harrietsfield and Leiblin Drive Friday morning. It reopened to traffic around noon.

Blackburn says he expects fire crews will monitor hot spots throughout the day.

“They’ll be here the better part of today I would think,” he says. “Just the rubble, the way it’s settling down, we’ll have to dig through it to put out the hot spots.”

The cause of the fire is under investigation.