Toronto fire sparks down­town evac­u­a­tions


Toronto’s fire chief says evac­u­a­tions con­tinue as fire­fight­ers try to con­trol a mas­sive blaze that has closed streets in the city’s mid­town and is pour­ing smoke over a wide area.

Matthew Pegg says The Bad­minton and Rac­quet Club is at risk of col­laps­ing and he is wor­ried about the fire spread­ing to neigh­bour­ing build­ings, in­clud­ing a nearby 14-storey, 87-unit con­do­minium.

Po­lice say buses have been brought in to shel­ter peo­ple who have had to leave their homes.

More than 100 fire­fight­ers are on scene at Yonge Street and St. Clair Av­enue West af­ter be­ing called out around 9:20 a.m.

There are no re­ports of in­juries and Pegg is warn­ing on­look­ers to stay away from the area, which is closed to traf­fic, and the Toronto sub­way is not stop­ping at St. Clair sta­tion due to the fire.

Capt. David Eck­er­man pre­vi­ously said part of the roof of the Rac­quet Club had col­lapsed and they needed Toronto Wa­ter to boost wa­ter pres­sure to help bat­tle the blaze.

Pegg said it is a very dif­fi­cult and haz­ardous fire and there have been a num­ber of struc­tural col­lapses.

“Ev­ery­one in that build­ing that we know that was in­side that build­ing is safe and ac­counted for, so that’s good news,” Pegg said.

“The con­di­tion of the build­ing in­volved in the fire continues to worsen so we’re still deal­ing with some very, very ac­cel­er­ated col­lapse po­ten­tial, and very, very heavy fire.”

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