Toronto fire crews anticipate they will be “actively firefighting” for the next 24 to 48 hours after a massive fire erupted at an industrial building.
“This is one of the more significant fires we’ve seen in the city in the last number of years,” Toronto Fire Deputy Chief Jim Jessop told reporters Friday morning.
“Smoke is now clearing, which is great. The businesses will remain evacuated for the remainder of the day today just given the continued flare ups.”
Crews were called to 35 Vulcan Street, near the intersection of Martin Grove and Belfield roads, at approximately 1:15 a.m.. The building appears to belong to a chemical distributor.
At the height of the six-alarm fire, more than 100 firefighters were on scene along with 30 “Toronto Fire apparatus” as well as crews from police and paramedics.
The fire was downgraded to a three-alarm fire just before 8:30 a.m.
First responders say the fire initially broke out in adjacent tractor trailers before the building itself caught fire. Officials say the fire was caused by an initial explosion, but it is not yet clear what exploded.
- IN PICTURES: Crews battle six-alarm fire in Etobicoke
Toronto Fire was largely concerned with containing the fire due to a high number of combustibles on site, including “thousands of litres of lubricants” and a neighbouring lumberyard.
This incident is being treated as a “full hazardous materials response,” according to Toronto Fire. The Ministry of Environment has been notified about this incident and no injuries have been reported.
The Office of the Fire Marshal has also been notified and police will begin an investigation into the cause of the fire once the fire has been completely extinguished, something Jessop believes won’t happen for a “number of days.”
“This is going to be a long day for all the men and women of the emergency services of the City of Toronto,” he said. “It’s going to be a fluid and dynamic day.”
Firefighters work to knock down a five-alarm industrial fire in Etobicoke on Aug. 11, 2023.
He added that the crew continues to extinguish a number of hot spots, and that flare-ups can be expected this weekend.
Martin Grove Road is closed south of Vulcan Street, and CN rail lines that run through the impacted area have been shut down.
Local residents and businesses have been advised to keep windows closed and shelter in place if possible.
Damage to the building is estimated to be in the millions of dollars, but Jessop believes it’s too early to say specifics.
In a Friday morning tweet, Mayor Olivia Chow thanked firefighters for working “around the clock” to fight the blaze.
“I hope that the firefighters and everyone in the area stay safe,” she said.
( to view video on CTV go here https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/toronto-firefighters-expect-to-be-on-scene-of-massive-industrial-fire-for-next-few-days-1.6514807 )