Time of Alarm: 02:50
One of the most difficult fires for many years, this blaze in the far north-east corner of the city occurred in a the rear portion of Standard Auto Wreckers, a large facility bordered by railway tracks and only accessible from Steeles Avenue to the north, as a bridge was closed. First in crews were faced with long lays into the site and exploding propane tanks and flames spread quickly through a warehouse along with numerous vehicles and several outbuildings. As more lines and ladder pipes went into service, water pressure became completely inadequate. Water Tanker 211 and other tankers from Markham and Pickering were used and relay pumping was set up, eventually involving ten pumpers. Freezing temperatures affected every aspect of the operation, as lines couldn’t be shut down and ice accumulated on every surface. It took hours and numerous streams to knock down the inferno that developed. The cause was believed to be accidental. A total of 58 hours of service were provided by seven canteen volunteers. The canteen returned to Station 223 at 15:25.
Photos courtesy Larry Thorne.