Queen W & Portland fire

Discussion in 'Toronto Issues' started by casaguy, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. casaguy

    casaguy Senior Member

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  2. BobBob

    BobBob Senior Member

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    What a disaster.

    Thanks for the pics...
     
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  3. 299 bloor call control.

    299 bloor call control. Senior Member

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    Queen Street West + Portland Street: Fire Engulfs City Block

    Fire on Queen West

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    COLIN McCONNELL/TORONTO STAR
    Flames shoot into the air as firefighters tackle a blaze at Queen and Portland Sts. on Feb. 20, 2008.

    February 20, 2008
    Emma Reilly
    STAFF REPORTER
    Firefighters are struggling to control a massive 6-alarm blaze in the city’s west end this morning.
    The fire broke out in a three-storey building near Queen and Bathurst Sts. at around 5 a.m.
    The blaze quickly spread to adjacent buildings while emergency crews struggled to keep the flames under control. The fire hit a block of low-rise buildings, made up of first-floor storefronts and upper-level apartments.
    Clouds of thick black smoke are rising from the building and at least 30 emergency vehicles have been called to the area.

    Several roofs have collapsed and firefighters are concerned about the extent of damage to the building.
    "The walls of the structure are beginning to buckle," said Chief Bill Stewart.
    Firefighters say they will be on scene for most of the day.
    All Bathurst and Queen streetcars are being diverted through the area and will be delayed until the area is cleared.
    TTC buses have been called into the area to shelter evacuated residents. So far, no injuries have been reported.
     
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  4. yyzer

    yyzer Senior Member

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    Holy sh*t!!
     
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  5. Mongo

    Mongo Senior Member

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    6-alarm blaze burns out of control in downtown T.O.
    toronto.ctv.ca

    A section of Toronto's downtown core is ablaze as firefighters struggle to get a six-alarm fire on Queen Street under control.

    Three addresses on Queen, just east of Bathurst Street have collapsed, a spokesperson for Toronto Fire Services told CTV.ca.

    "It looks like 623, 625 and 627 Queen St. have collapsed," said Capt. Adrian Ratushniak in a telephone interview from the scene. "They have been completely flattened. There are no longer any buildings there."

    There are fears combustible materials inside at least one of the buildings might result in an explosion, fire officials said.

    The fire broke out at 615 Queen St. West, near Portland Street on the south side of Queen, at around 5 a.m.

    When firefighters arrived on the scene they found people living in the upstairs apartments of the affected buildings "hanging out their windows," Ratushniak said. All were eventually rescued by emergency workers with ladders.

    No injuries have been reported as a result of the blaze. However, there is heavy smoke in the area, and some are reportedly being affected by that. One street south of the affected area has been evacuated.

    About 56 fire trucks and 150 firefighters are currently on the scene battling the fire as it continues to burn out of control. At least eight storefronts have been destroyed.

    "We've got the upper hand but it's definitely not under control," Ratushniak said.

    Traffic, including streetcar service, is being rerouted around the area as Bathurst is closed from Dundas to Adelaide Streets and Queen is closed from Tecumseth Street to Augusta Avenue.

    Ratushniak said the fire has brought down several wires in the area but couldn't say for sure if TTC streetcar wires had been affected.

    He did say that the area would be closed off for most of the day as officials investigate the scene and crews clean up the debris.

    The Fire Marshal's Office has been notified of the fire and will investigate though officials said it was way too early to determine what caused the blaze or if it was sparked under suspicious circumstances.
     
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  6. Jayomatic

    Jayomatic Active Member

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    I woke up this morning thinking my building was on fire. I hope the fire didn't claim too many heritage buildings. I'm especially worried about the one next to the Reverb.
     
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  7. AlvinofDiaspar

    AlvinofDiaspar Moderator

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    Hmm, all of them are hertiage buildings, adopted by City Council last summer - and it's right beside a large parking lot.

    Suspicious indeed.

    AoD
     
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  8. Conrad Black

    Conrad Black Senior Member

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    Well I guess they'll be able to add another big box store next to the Home Depot.
     
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  9. 299 bloor call control.

    299 bloor call control. Senior Member

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    The parking lot is where the Home Depot is proposed.... and I wouldn't be surprised if RioCan buys up the ruins of this fire...
     
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  10. Edward

    Edward Senior Member

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    That's a great strip. What a shame.
     
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  11. Edward

    Edward Senior Member

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    Fire on Queen West

    http://www.thestar.com/News/GTA/article/305207

    Feb 20, 2008 09:43 AM
    EMILY MATHIEU
    PAOLA LORIGGIO
    BRETT POPPLEWELL
    STAFF REPORTERS

    One building has collapsed and another appears about to as firefighters struggle to control a massive six-alarm blaze in the city’s west end this morning.

    The fire broke out in a three-storey building near Queen and Bathurst Sts. at around 5 a.m.

    It quickly spread to a block of adjacent low-rise buildings, made up of first-floor storefronts and upper-level apartments to encompass about 14 or 15 buildings on the south side of Queen St. W between Bathurst St. and Ryerson Ave, said Toronto fire chief Bill Stewart.

    So far, only minor injuries have been treated. Official's main concern for people is smoke inhalation.

    More than 30 emergency vehicles have been called to the area, including about 150 emergency workers.

    Chemical, biological and nuclear response teams are also preparing for a possible explosion, said Toronto Emergency Services spokesperson Lyla Miller. An emergency shelter has been set up at 155 Crawford St.

    Standing on the corner of Queen and Bathurst Sts. was Justine Duke, the great-granddaughter of the founder of Duke’s Cycle, a Queen West fixture since 1914. Duke stood watching as plumes of smoke obscured what was left of her family’s business.

    “Anyone who has ever ridden a cycle in the city knows Duke,†she said. "We’re just heartbroken right now.â€

    Flames were still visible inside buildings around 9 a.m. as firefighters shot water into the buildings – some of them already gutted – and ice quickly formed on the street in the –11 C weather.

    Firefighters will be on scene for most of the day and continue a fire watch throughout the night.

    “We lost a piece of Toronto history, and its incredible,†Stewart said, coughing on smoke as he spoke to reporters.

    Michael Cramwell, general manager of Duke’s Cycle, woke to a call around 6 a.m. and rushed to the scene.

    He said the store just received new inventory and was gearing up for its biggest season ever. “I don’t think the shock will sink in for a while.â€

    Inside a nearby variety store, Shumin Noel, the owner of Dollar and More at 633 Queen St. W., was pacing and speaking to a friend on the phone.

    “It’s cold, so cold out there, but I want to see what’s happening,†she said frantically to her friend as she peered out the window, shaking her hands to get them warm.

    Noel lived in an apartment above the store. She was awoken around 5 a.m. when the fire started and had time to bundle her two children, ages 6 and 16, into warm clothing and get them out the door.

    However, Noel said they escaped with little more than the clothes they were wearing.

    “This is everything I have, trust me,†she said.

    “I have money in the cash register,†she added. “All my ID, everything, is inside.â€

    Firefighters have been so busy trying to put down the fire that they haven’t yet determined the fire’s cause. Ontario’s Fire Marshal will investigate.

    All Bathurst and Queen streetcars are being diverted through the area and will be delayed until the area is cleared. Road closures include Queen St. W., between Tecumseth St. and Augusta Ave., and Bathurst St., between Adelaide St. and Dundas St. W.

    TTC buses have been called into the area to shelter residents of evacuated buildings.

    As the smoke drifted toward the financial district, Miller warned the public to ensure that sources of workplace ventilation aren't compromised.

    With files from Emma Reilly and Tamsyn Burgmann
     
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  12. 299 bloor call control.

    299 bloor call control. Senior Member

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    I don't work too far from the scene of the fire.. and my office reeks of smoke.. Been feelin' a bit of a headache so far this morning.. no good...
     
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  13. Edward Skira

    Edward Skira Coming Soon SRC Staff Member

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    casaguy can I use one of the pictures for photo of the day?
     
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  14. ShonTron

    ShonTron Moderator

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    We can still see the smoke from our office at 2 Queen East. No camera though.

    What a crying shame.
     
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  15. Mongo

    Mongo Senior Member

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    If this does turn out to be arson (especially if it was committed to clear the land for development) then I hope those responsible spend a long time in prison. We are lucky that there were no deaths (that we know of so far) -- it sounds like quite a few people could have died with slightly worse luck.
     
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