Investigators conclude on-scene examination of...
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Feb 16, 2017  |  Vote 0    0

Investigators conclude on-scene examination of massive St. Clair blaze

Badminton and Racquet Club of Toronto decimated by fire

City Centre Mirror

Fire investigators have concluded their on-scene examination of the massive six-alarm blaze that broke out Tuesday morning at the Badminton and Racquet Club of Toronto.

The fire was officially declared completely out at 2:29 p.m. Wednesday, though firefighters remained on scene until Thursday morning to ensure there were no flare-ups.

"The authority of the building now has been transitioned back to the property owner," Jim Jessop, Toronto deputy fire chief, said Thursday, Feb. 16. "The owner and their engineers are on site right now and they will have to make a determination as to what they do."

Jessop said the "physical investigation" has been completed.

"We're reviewing witness statements, we're reviewing video footage," he added. "There is nothing to suggest at all that this fire is suspicious, but there is no determination of cause at this time."

The probe is being conducted by Toronto Fire Services and the fire marshal’s office.

“But given the destruction … I can’t say how that investigation will progress,” TFS Capt. David Eckerman said Thursday morning.

There are also conflicting reports as to where the fire started.

“At this point we simply don’t know, and it’s something we hope to find out,” Eckerman said. “Some of the conflicting reports would’ve been a mechanical room, a sauna or the lounge, but at this point we don’t know if even any of those are correct. The original caller said something was burning and they don’t know what, and they evacuated.”

Since 2009, there has been a number of fires at the building, at 25 St. Clair Ave. W., but they’re all of a different nature.

“One was in the sauna, a chimney and then this one yet determined,” Eckerman said.

Two firefighters received minor injuries while battling the blaze, which erupted at 9:22 a.m. Tuesday and continued to burn for more than 20 hours.

Several area buildings were evacuated, though those evacuation orders have since been lifted.

"This was a significant fire. This was one of the most complex and challenging fires that the City of Toronto has seen in years," Jessop said. "But quite frankly, it would've been significantly worse had our staff not done an absolutely outstanding job. They prevented millions of dollars worth of damage."

Jessop had said damage was "well north of a million dollars."

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