The Ontario fire marshal has been called in to investigate a fire that broke out in Pickering Tuesday night, leaving more than five businesses with extensive damages.
Just after 8:30 p.m., billows of smoke and monstrous flames engulfed an automotive plaza near Bayly and Church streets.
Pickering fire says it took hours for crews to extinguish the fire and they faced numerous challenges in the process.
“We had difficulty accessing water initially. The hydrants aren’t too close to the scene,” said chief fire prevention officer Steve Fowlds.
“It was a difficult fire to fight, given the vehicles and tires inside the building plus all of the oils and gases.”
Nobody was injured in the inferno, however, several businesses in the plaza endured extensive damage.
Fahad Azim, who owns Aim Auto Sales and Service, says, “It was very hard to see of course.”
“It took us almost five years to build (the business), and (within) a second, it’s gone.”
For its duration, the investigation has shut down all other businesses in the plaza, including those unaffected by the flames.
However, those whose shops were destroyed are bracing for a long road to recovery.
“In addition to the five or six businesses who were affected in that plaza, there’s an awful lot of vehicles here. Some are owned by the businesses, some of them are customers who have dropped them off for service,” Fowlds said.
“It’s going to be a very high dollar loss.”
Crews have yet to determine a cause or origin for the fire.