East York Mirror
All students and staff members at Danforth Technical Institute are okay after a serious and potentially toxic three-alarm fire broke out in the southwest area of the school Wednesday, April 25.
A firefighter was treated at the scene by paramedics for heat exhaustion but is doing fine, reported Platoon Chief Norm Clements.
"One of the biggest things we fight with is overheating and I think he suffered some of that," Clements told reporters.
"He was one of the first guys in there so he encountered most of the heat, most of the work and most of the stress."
Desribed as smoky and extremely hot. the fire broke out at around 10:15 a.m. inside a storage area in a windowless drama classroom.
All 1,200 students and 160 staff members quickly evacuated the local high school.
Firefighters reached the scene within four minutes of being called to the scene, said Capt. Mike Strapko, confirming the main body of the blaze was knocked down at 11:57 p.m.
Crews continued searching for any remaining hot spots throughout the afternoon, he added.
"We'll be sticking around for quite a while because it was a deep-seated fire," said Clements.
Several students and staff members were forced from the school without a jacket or any money and were milling about the area for some time.
Numerous onlookers, including passersby and those who live in the area, also gathered to check out the scene.
Classes were cancelled for the day. Students unable to go home were housed in nearby Wilkinson Junior Public School.
Staff members met at the nearby elementary school at 1 p.m. to discuss next steps.
Pupils were instructed to call the school this evening to confirm if school would resume Thursday morning.
Traffic along Greenwood Avenue, north of Danforth Avenue, and on a portion of Strathmore Avenue near the school was temporarily off-limits to motorists as emergency crews battled the blaze.
The Ontario Fire Marshall arrived at the scene around 1:30 p.m. and is now investigating the cause of the fire as well as the extent and cost of the damages to the three-storey building.