04/26/2013 04:13 EDT | Updated 06/26/2013 05:12 EDT

Winnipeg biofuels maker, owner, facing bylaw charges over massive blaze

WINNIPEG - A Winnipeg biofuels manufacturer and its director are facing charges after a massive blaze last fall sent fireballs shooting into the sky and forced hundreds of residents from their homes.

Speedway International and Royce Rostecki have been charged with 16 bylaw offences, including failing to get permission to install storage tanks containing flammable liquids, failure to store those liquids properly in rail cars and storing more of them than allowed.

The Manitoba fire commissioner's office ruled that spontaneous combustion in an oily substance sparked the fire at the business, which produced biodiesel, racing car methanol and windshield washer fluid.

As a result of the fire, a safety inspection committee made up of city and provincial officials are considering changes to fire safety inspection regulations.

If convicted on all 16 charges, Speedway faces a maximum fine of $40,000 and the owner $8,000.

The next court date is June 27.