Fire truck at fire in Toronto

Second fire at same Queen Street East building: residents

Toronto Fire Services battle a one-alarm fire Tuesday afternoon at Queen and Morse Streets

A one-alarm fire at Queen and Morse Streets forced neighbouring store owners to evacuate on Tuesday, and also caused police to block off several Toronto city streets.

Emergency crews were called around 3 o’clock at 909 Queen Street East on Tuesday afternoon after a 911 call came in about a commercial building catching fire.

No injuries were reported, as store owners in and around the area had to leave for 45 minutes, until firefighters managed to put out the blaze.

Toronto Fire Platoon Chief Kevin Shaw, who was one of the first on scene, said an explosion happened at the back of the building, but had no knowledge as to how the blast occured. Shaw also explained that emergency services were still assessing the significance of the damage.

“We’re still investigating to see wether there was any damage in the interior of the building, this time. It looks like it’s all on the flat roof area, which is the deck the tenants go on,” Shaw said.

Jag Ghankas, office manager for Tattoo Studio One, was one of the first people to hear the explosion. With his store right across the street, Ghankas said smoke entered his shop’s front door.

“The door was open because it was a nice day and we had to use the fan in the back to clear the smoke out,” Ghankas explained. “The same building caught fire two years ago and you can tell because they didn’t fix any of the bricks.”

Amanda Ryan, an employee at Rashers sandwich shop, says she was also worried when she saw heavy black smoke from the building across the street. Although Rashers is only a few stores down from Tattoo Studio One, Ryan explained that she and a few of her neighbours had no need to evacuate.

“We were fine here, I smelled the smoke so we closed the door,” Ryan said. “We’re far enough away from the building that no smoke came into the store, which smelled like burning rubber, by the way.”

TTC riders traveling on the 501 streetcars also experienced delays as many had to wait for police to let them through, while Carlaw to Logan avenues were blocked off due to the fire.

After an hour and half of trying to get the blaze under control, the Toronto Fire Department packed up. Shortly after 7 p.m, emergency crews were back at the scene, to further investigate the cause of the fire.