Massive Fire Guts Queen West Block
Photo by aardvark from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.
Transit vehicles are being diverted and streets have been closed near Queen and Bathurst as firefighters battle a six-alarm blaze this morning. The fire broke out about 5 a.m. and spread through eight low-rise buildings on the south side of Queen, consisting of fourteen addresses between Bathurst and Portland. The destroyed block contained commercial properties Suspect Video, Duke’s Cycle, National Sound, Preloved, the Jupiter head shop, Room+ Furniture and Accessories, Pizzaiolo, and Organize By Design. Second and third floor apartments have also been wiped-out. All residents were safely evacuated.
About fifty emergency vehicles and 150 firefighters are reported at the area. One building housing Duke’s Cycle collapsed at about 7:30 a.m., and CTV News reported from their helicopter that the brick wall of the adjacent building was leaning and could be on the verge of collapse. Three people were treated for minor smoke inhalation, but no other injuries have been reported. Emergency workers told some bystanders that it seems the fire originated in the National Sound building at 615 Queen Street West.
Fire crews are slated to be present on-scene for most of the day. Early reports say the fire may have started in a rear shed, though a cause has yet to be established and it will take at least a week for authorities to poke through the rubble for a definitive answer. Officials say that the damage could reach $10 million.
A reception centre for displaced residents was established today at the Trinity Bellwoods Community Centre, and the Fairmont Royal York Hotel is offering ten rooms at no cost over the next two nights. The Salvation Army is helping out with food and replacement clothing, and nearby patisserie Clafouti donated food to the reception centre.
The Star has an updated map showing traffic and transit disruptions.
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This post was last updated at 10:00 p.m.
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