Toronto fire says firefighters have made major progress in battling a large fire from early Friday at an industrial site where petroleum-based fluids and chemicals are stored in north Etobicoke.
Crews were called to Vulcan Street, near Martin Grove and Belfield roads, just after 1 a.m.
Deputy Fire Chief Jim Jessop told reporters on Friday morning that the fire was out of control and it was a “full hazardous materials response.” At around noon, fire officials said the fire “for the most part is out now” and is under control with the exception of small spot fires.
Jessop said the site is a factory or business that contains thousands of litres of motor oil and transmission fuel as well as solvents.
Large flames were seen earlier in the night, which had changed over to thick black smoke billowing from the site.
“This is the reason why we had such deep black smoke,” said Toronto Fire division commander Dave Denysek at around noon on Friday in another update.
Denysek also noted there is “very little smoke” coming from the site after an almost 12-hour defensive attack.
“The company had reps here quickly. They told us exactly what was in the building and in different parts of the building,” Denysek said, adding the bigger concern was the solvents inside the building.
“Because we had that information we established what we call exposure lines and we protected those areas very heavily to make sure the fire didn’t get to those areas.”
Several explosions were also heard, including gas tanks that were inside and vehicles, Jessop said.
The fire was upgraded from a five-alarm to a six-alarm response level at the height of the fire. Jessop said more than 100 firefighters, police and paramedics assisted with controlling the fire.
“It’s one of the more significant fires that we have seen in the city in the last number of years,” Jessop said.
Jessop advised residents to close their windows. Crews are monitoring the air quality.
All businesses in the area have been closed or evacuated by Toronto police, Jessop said.
No injuries have been reported to civilians or firefighters.
No one was inside the building when the fire broke out, Denysek said.
A number of streets in the area have been shut down and Jessop said given the size, complexity and materials inside the building crews will be there 24 to 48 hours.
The Ministry of Environment and the Office of the Fire Marshal have been called in to investigate.