Cause of massive blaze at Toronto athletic club ruled ‘undetermined’: Toronto fire

Click to play video: 'Toronto firefighters continue to battle blaze at Yonge and St. Clair'
Toronto firefighters continue to battle blaze at Yonge and St. Clair
VIDEO: Toronto firefighters battle blaze at Yonge and St. Clair – Feb 14, 2017

Investigators with Toronto Fire Services were not able to determine the cause of a massive six-alarm blaze in midtown Toronto this past February, which destroyed a historic three-storey athletic club.

More than 100 firefighters responded to The Badminton & Racquet Club of Toronto at St. Clair Ave. and Yonge St. before 9:30 a.m. on February 14. The smell of smoke quickly erupted into flames, with the alarm level jumping from a level-one response to a six-alarm blaze.

The statement released late Monday said various potential ignition sources that were electrical in nature could not be eliminated as the cause of the fire, due to the extent of damage in the area of the fire’s origin. If two or more ignition sources cannot be isolated, investigators are required to deem the fire classification as “undetermined”.

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Toronto fire had said, however, that the fire originated in the floor space in the third level mechanical room and that there was no information suggesting the fire was suspicious in nature.

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Damage from the blaze is estimated at $10 million.

It took more than 20 hours for Toronto fire crews to declare the incident under control early February 15, with firefighters working through the night to suppress hot spots and test air quality issues in the adjoining buildings. Residents of condominiums near the scene were not allowed to re-enter until later that evening.

Adjacent buildings and businesses were largely spared from the blaze, which had injured two firefighters.

Click to play video: 'Fight against massive mid-town Toronto fire continues'
Fight against massive mid-town Toronto fire continues

WATCH ABOVE (February 14): Firefighters remained on scene of massive three-story fire that shut down the corner Yonge St. and St. Clair in Toronto. Ashley Molnar reports.

The athletic club was partially equipped with a sprinkler system, but it was not determined if that contributed to the spread of the fire.

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According to the club’s website, the racquet club was founded in 1924 and recently underwent extensive renovations. It was touted as “a pre-eminent Canadian private racquet, fitness, wellness and social club.”

— With files from David Shum, Adam Miller and Nick Westoll of Global News

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