Firefighters extinguish North York industrial blaze
Firefighters extinguish North York industrial blaze
June 14, 2017
CBC News Toronto
 
A former auto shop was engulfed in flames Wednesday afternoon.

A former auto shop was engulfed in flames Wednesday afternoon. (@SonnySubra/Twitter)

 
The two-alarm fire that "fully engulfed" the roof of an industrial building in North York is largely under control, Toronto Fire says, but firefighters are still trying to extinguish hot spots.
 
Earlier Wednesday afternoon, black smoke billowed from the former auto shop on Rivalda Drive in the Weston Road and Sheppard Avenue West area. The towering plume could be seen from all over the city and a chemical smell filled the air.
 
Witnesses nearby also reported hearing multiple explosions from inside the structure.
 
Toronto Fire Capt. Michael Westwood said the service received calls from all over the GTA, including from residents as far away as Vaughan and Brampton. The alerts started streaming in at 1:01 p.m., he added.
 
Twenty fire engines responded to the scene. Firefighters set up a perimeter and performed what's known as a "defensive attack," Westwood explained, approaching the building with extreme caution and special attention to the possibility of another explosion.
 
Two aerial towers were also lifted to hit the building from above, he said.
 
The fire was knocked down shortly after 2 p.m. and no injuries were reported. Firefighters remain on scene searching for remaining hot spots.
 
Dept.-Chief Jim Jessop told CBC Toronto that because it's a former autobody shop, there's could be compressed gases and possibly other chemicals still inside.
 
Before the origin of the fire can be examined, the hazardous materials team will scour the site and remove any dangerous substances that remain.
 
Local resident Jesse Kakish was walking home from work this afternoon when he says he heard three or four loud explosions. Then he realized the building was on fire.
 
"It was very huge, very high flames," he told CBC Toronto. "We had to run to get out of there."
 
Rivalda and Weston Roads reopened to traffic shortly before 6 p.m. The 84B Sheppard West bus has also returned to regular routing.