Photo by CFernando from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.
When a car caught fire and exploded just after noon today at Yonge and Dundas, it shook nearby buildings, nerves, and people’s Twitter accounts. The first report of anything wrong at the intersection came from Jevon MacDonald, who posted to his Twitter moments after the boom that “a hotdog stand at young/dundas square just blew up,. and I mean blew up”—but MacDonald was (thankfully) mostly wrong: the sole victim of the explosion was a car, and the fire was out and the street back open less than an hour after.
Our decreasingly panicked updates, with eyewitness reports and photos from readers (sent to [email protected]), follow.
11:53 p.m.—One last amazing photo, above, was just submitted by CFernando to Torontoist’s Flickr Pool. According to CP24, the fire started in the “engine area of the car,” caused about $1,000 of damage, and was under control by firefighters less than three minutes after it started.
2:03 p.m.—Reader Mark McDougall sends in these photos he took earlier, and says: “It’s amazing how silly humans can be—people (myself included) just kept crowding around the burning, potentially explosive, toxic-fume-spewing car.” But it makes for great pics!
1:33 p.m.—Reader Tanya Koivusalo says: “I was there at noon-ish—there was a dull boom, and then there was a car on fire in the middle of Dundas St. in front of the Eaton Centre, and a man kept running and opening the driver’s side door to retrieve things from the car (I assume it was his car)—police kept yelling at him to stay away from it, as it continued to burn.” Commenter james_a also says there was an explosion.
1:27 p.m.—Jevon MacDonald was on the forty-fourth floor of the Pantages Tower condo just after noon today when he felt a boom. “We thought it was thunder. It didn’t rock the condo, but we did literally feel it,” MacDonald says. “The position of the Toronto Life building would kindof direct the sound right at us, that may have been why it was so loud. It was pretty incredible.” He didn’t see an explosion, but “heard it and then looked out. We could see that Dundas Street was literally on fire for some time (i.e.: we saw the fire burning), gas must have leaked on to the road and the car was burning as well. Smoke was wafting over towards the east and at least a few hundred people were crowded around it, with police keeping them back.”
1:11 p.m.—Torontoist’s Miles Storey reports back from the scene: all clear, with nary a fire truck in sight. Here’s a photo of the scene a bit earlier, courtesy of Jevon MacDonald (the Twitter user staying on top of the story). You can see the foam used to extinguish the flames along the ground and the scorched black car just beside the pole on the left.
1:01 p.m.—Just got off the phone with Tony Valla, a Constable and Media Relations Officer with Toronto Fire—at 12:04 p.m. Toronto Fire received reports of a car fire, but no word on an explosion. The intersection was closed but has since been reopened; the fire, as far as he knows it, is out; and there are no reports of injuries. Good news.
12:34 p.m.—We are receiving of yet unconfirmed reports of an explosion at Yonge and Dundas just after 12 p.m., when Twitter user jevon caught it and said: “Holy shit,. a hotdog stand at young/dundas square just blew up,. and I mean blew up,. I felt the shaking on the 44th floor. shit.” According to Toronto Fire, units have been dispatched for a vehicle fire at the intersection. Send anything you know to [email protected]. We’ll be updating this post as we get more information.