A military helicopter rescued a crane operator during a fire that had engulfed a building under construction in downtown Kingston.

Witness Roger Monahan of Blackstar Body Piercing told CityNews the fire was at a new residence under construction for Queen’s University near Princess and Victoria streets.

He said there was a worker on top of a construction crane at the site who was trapped and that fire officials were evacuating the street. The crane worker was eventually rescued by the military chopper from CFB Trenton.

Reports say the fire was caused by a propane explosion.

Police in Kingston the worker suffered only minor injuries. He was stranded atop the crane when fire broke out at about 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday.

A Griffon helicopter plucked him from the crane at 3:35 p.m. and took him to a waiting ambulance.

Police say all the other construction workers at the site are believed to be accounted for.

Officers are going door-to-door in the neighbourhood advising residents to evacuate as there is concern the fire could spread to nearby buildings, including a hotel and a gas station.

Police say a home near the burning building has caught fire.

City buses have been pressed into service to shuttle residents who live within a few blocks of the blaze to an evacuation centre.

Police said they’ll be advising residents when they can re-enter the evacuation zone for pets or other items.

A public school a few blocks away was also evacuated.

Utilities have been shut down in the area to make it safe for those battling the fire.

With files from 1310News