Photographs supplied by M. Baehr.
When people think of Valentines day they think of flowers and chocolate. For Toronto fire this Valentines day it was battling the biggest fire we have had this year to date. Toronto Metro reports “Capt. David Eckerman of Toronto Fire Services said 40 trucks responded to the club (The Badminton & Racquet Club of Toronto) just before 9:30 a.m. By noon, the blaze had been upgraded to a six-alarm fire and 120 firefighters were on scene as heavy black smoke continued pouring out of the structure, filling the streets and at times obscuring the whole block.” “Firefighters initially climbed the side of the building using ladders and were fighting the blaze from the roof but were ordered to vacate the premises amid structural concerns.” CTV News reported.
Crews fought this fire long into Wednesday. An amazing job by Toronto Fire. Preventing it from leaping to condos and businesses on the four corners of St. Clair Ave. and Yonge St. — required a collective effort over three days: 520 firefighters, 167 fire engines, pumpers and three tower trucks with articulating booms (Tower 333, the 2007 E-One Cyclone II / 114’), hazardous materials unit, dozens of hoses pumping simultaneously, an excavator and countless air cylinders consumed. (Reported by Toronto Star)
“We’re dealing with an older structure, a structure that appears to be dealing with or involve a lot of combustible materials,” Toronto Fire Inter Chief Matt Pegg said. Fire officials said there were no reports of any explosions and that crews were only concerned with the high volume of fire and smoke. With not many ways to get to the building it was tough for crews to get water on the fire. Toronto Fire has crews on balconies of the adjacent condominium to eliminate the possibility of the fire spreading.
Mayor Tory arrived to visit the scene late Tuesday. “Thank you from all the people from Toronto for working as a team with a great deal of courage and determination to deal with a very difficult situation,” he said with regards to Toronto Fire.