Fire at Scarborough recreation centre was accidental: OFM

A stubborn fire at a Scarborough recreation centre that took crews 36 hours to fully extinguish was caused by some sort of electrical issue, investigators with the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal have determined.

The four-alarm fire at the Agincourt Recreation Centre broke out shortly before 5 p.m. last Thursday and wasn’t fully put out until early Saturday morning due, in part, to challenges crews faced in accessing the seat of the blaze within the building’s roof structure.

While the precise cause of the blaze remains unclear, OFM investigator Chris ter Stege told CTV News Toronto on Wednesday that officials have narrowed it down to a few potential sources, all of which are electrical.

He said that investigators have also determined that the fire began on the exterior north wall of the structure and was able to quickly spread due to cedar siding.

No estimate has been provided for the total damage caused by the fire, though officials have said that it is extensive.

“It was extremely difficult not just from a firefighting perspective but also given the weather,” Fire Chief Matthew Pegg told CP24 on Wednesday. “Fortunately we managed to run that entire incident and mitigate it without any injury to anyone which is obviously priority number one.”

Mayor John Tory previously vowed to rebuild the centre, which is covered by an insurance policy with a $5 million deductible.

In the interim, the facility is closed until further notice and city officials are working to move some of the estimated 400 programs and courses that take place at the centre to other facilities.

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