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4 firefighters hurt in Mississauga industrial fire

CityNews | posted Wednesday, Apr 23rd, 2014

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Four firefighters were hurt in a massive industrial fire in Mississauga on Wednesday morning.

An explosion caused a wall to collapse, injuring three firefighters. One of them was rushed to a downtown Toronto hospital in critical condition, and two other firefighters were taken to a local hospital. The fourth firefighter was treated for smoke inhalation.

Mississauga fire deputy chief Greg Laing three of the firefighters are now in serious but stable condition.

“The nature of their injuries are quite significant” said Laing. “We are all thinking and praying for our firefighters.”

The fire began on Thamesgate Drive near Airport Road around 4:30 a.m.

The building, an imported goods plant, contained butane lighters and bug spray, which exploded during the fire. The smoke is not toxic, Peel police said, but officers are wearing masks as a precaution.

An investigation is being conducted to determine the cause of the blaze but Laing noted that the business had not yet been inspected to determine it met with proper building and fire codes.

“From what we understand the owner had moved in and started his business however he had not gone through the process where our fire inspection division goes in, looks at what the business is going to do, examines the structure against the various codes that are in effect – the building code, the fire code – to ensure they are compliant,” said Laing. “I am unsure of where the owner was in that process. That will certainly be a large part of the investigation.”

Those who live in the area were asked to close their windows and Peel police asked people to stay out of the area bounded by Derry Road, Torbram Road, Steeles Avenue and Goreway Drive.

Businesses surrounding the fire were evacuated for several hours until it could be determined that the area was safe.

“Hazardous material on fire has values that are immediately dangerous to life and health and the risk of letting people in could not be justified so we kept (the area) closed,” said Laing.

The ministry of the environment was called in to assist the Hazmat unit to determine the safety of the area surrounding the building.

“There is definitely no danger right now and we’ve been able to shrink the isolation zone,” Laing explained.

Both Mississauga fire chief John McDougall and Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion expressed their concern for the injured firefighters.

“Our thoughts are with the firefighters who were injured,” Mississauga fire chief John McDougall said in a statement.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the firefighters and their families. We are grateful for all emergency services personnel who are on site,” Mayor Hazel McCallion said.

She added that the Ontario fire marshal’s office is investigating and that the fire chief will provide a detailed report to her and councillors soon.

View her YouTube statement below.

Peel police have also closed the CN rail tracks north of the area and GO Transit service is affected. Click here for details. GO Transit users can show their Presto Card to get free access to TTC service at five stations: Dundas West, Finch, Yorkdale, York Mills and Lawrence West.

While schools are not closed, buses in the area are affected and will be delayed by road closures, the Peel District School Board said. Click here to see the full list of schools.

Amateur video of the fire was posted on YouTube. Watch it below. We’re always looking for your photos and video – send them to us @BTtoronto when safe to do so.

With files from Erin Criger, CityNews.ca

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