Tempers flare as traffic builds up
As firefighters fought the Front Street blaze, motorists were also feeling the heat.
Frustrated drivers heading into the city from the West yesterday morning faced lengthy delays, with traffic backed up as far as Warwick.
Those using Harbour Road quickly became aware of the cause of the delay as plumes of smoke rose hundreds of feet into the sky, with the smell of fire wafting across the harbour.
Once in Hamilton, drivers were forced to use a circuitous route on their way to work, with dozens of police officers helping to direct the traffic.
Tempers flared, with several motorists exchanging heated words with emergency personnel blocking off the street.
One woman who wanted to drive over the hosepipe running across Church Street at the junction with Burnaby Street became embroiled in a row with officers, prompting an angry response from pedestrians.
Front Street remained closed to vehicles throughout the day, as did parts of Reid Street.
That led to more snarl-ups later in the day as motorists headed home.