Toronto Fire attending five-alarm blaze at abandoned building

Toronto Fire says about 80 firefighters are attending a blaze at an abandoned building that has been upgraded to a fifth-alarm in the area of Dundas Street West and Sterling Road after a fire broke out Sunday night.

Fire Chief Matthew Pegg said that it was “difficult and challenging defensive fire,” causing them to upgrade the blaze’s status.

As of 9:50 p.m., Toronto Fire says that about 90 per cent of the blaze has been put out. Heavy construction equipment will be brought in around midnight to make sure everything inside the building is out and to deconstruct the building.

Train traffic will continue to be halted so that Canadian Pacific Railway can check the tracks to ensure they are safe to use due to the amount of water that was sprayed in the area, they said. 

Acting Chief Jim Jessop said at the scene that their crews were met with “heavy flames” coming out of multiple sides of the building and there have been internal and external collapses of the structure.

“We are currently putting out hotspots right now, we anticipate being here well into tomorrow morning,” he said. Fire investigations has been notified and will be onsite tomorrow to determine the origins of the blaze, he said. 

Earlier in the evening, Toronto Fire said they were called to the scene at around 6:30 p.m. and they believe the fire is coming from an old tool rental building in the area. The building is at 1875 Dundas Street West and is owned by Metrolinx, said Ana Bail√£o, the deputy mayor of Toronto on Twitter. She said it was purchased for the rail corridor expansion and it was set to be demolished soon.

Firefighters were taking a “defensive approach” to battling the flames and the building has been compromised, they said. There’s lots of smoke in the area but there are no injuries reported, said Toronto Fire. 

The building occupies one storey on the road and then drops another two stories to the Metrolinx tracks below.

As a result, Metrolinx has stopped trains from running in the area due to the fire. Train service to Barrie has been completely halted, said Anne Marie Aikins, a spokesperson for Metrolinx on Twitter.

The Union Pearson Express train to Toronto Pearson International Airport has also been paused in both directions and express busses are running instead, Metrolinx tweeted. 

Toronto Police area asking the public to avoid the area so emergency services can put out the fire. 

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