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Massive fire at Cherry Street recycling plant sends smoke plume over Toronto

NEWS STAFF | posted Thursday, May 25th, 2017

fire
A fire at a Cherry Street solid waste facility sent a massive plume of smoke over Toronto on May 25, 2017. CITYNEWS
Toronto firefighters are on the scene – but not inside the building – of a massive fire at a Cherry Street recycling plant.

The fire began at the GFL Solid Waste Transfer Station near Polson Pier around 1 a.m. on Thursday.

“The material here is mixed. It’s really hard, if not impossible, for us to know exactly what the contents are,” Fire Chief Matthew Pegg said.

“There’s also a used mattress storage facility [nearby].”

It’s too dangerous for crews to go inside, so firefighters are fighting from land and from a fire-boat. There’s also a danger the building could collapse.

Employees were inside the building at the time, but everyone got out. Two employees were assessed at the scene and released, and no injuries have been reported, Pegg said.

People across the downtown reported seeing and smelling smoke, and seeing ashes, several kilometres west of the fire, all the way to Lake Shore Boulevard and Windermere Avenue.

Pegg said people are reporting smelling smoke as far away as Etobicoke.

“We’re not aware of any significant hazard in the smoke plume,” Pegg said.

The Ministry of the Environment has been notified but has not been called in.

The cause of the fire is not yet known.

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