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Firefighters battle a blaze at the Byward Market in Ottawa, on April 12, 2019.Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

Fire crews are attempting to contain a blaze at a restaurant in Ottawa’s historic ByWard Market neighbourhood.

The fire began this morning at Vittoria Trattoria on William Street, an Italian eatery in the popular tourist area that’s packed with restaurants, shops and outdoor stalls.

Ottawa Fire Services says the restaurant has been evacuated, and both drivers and pedestrians are asked to avoid the area.

Photos from the scene show thick black smoke billowing from the roof of the grey brick building.

Scott Stilborn, a photographer for Ottawa Fire Services, notes on Twitter that the blaze is extending through a common loft to the two attached buildings.

He says fire crews have been evacuated from the roof and the building’s interior because of “rapidly deteriorating conditions.”