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Massive 6-alarm mattress factory fire forces evacuations

Heavy plumes of smoke could be seen as far away as Vaughan as Toronto firefighters battled a six-alarm fire at a mattress factory on Thursday.

The fire began at Foamco on Fairbank Avenue, near Dufferin Road and Eglinton Avenue, around 9 a.m. The east wall collapsed around 11:45 a.m. and there were fears the north wall could follow.

Officials said more than 40 trucks and 120 firefighters were called to the scene. The Ministry of the Environment was also called in.

Several homes on nearby Wingold Avenue were evacuated around 1:45 p.m.

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A fire at a Dufferin and Eglinton mattress factory can be seen at Pearson International Airport on March 27, 2014. Courtesy of CityNews viewer Jim Nancarrow.

One man whose business shares a back fence line with the factory spoke with CityNews from the showroom.

“We can see all the back loading docks. There used to be 18 and now there’s only three. We’re watching a plume of smoke fly by us,” Tarik Elmas said.

“The flames are probably twice as high as the building.”

Elmas said officials have not spoken to them and the wind is blowing the smoke away from his building, adding he couldn’t smell anything.

Elmas sent in the photo below of the back of the building:

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Those who live in the area were told to stay indoors and keep their windows shut. Other buildings were evacuated, but there was nothing widespread.

Toronto Fire Capt. Mike Strapko told CityNews firefighters were not going into the building due to the danger of the collapsing walls and potentially toxic fumes. Instead, they were fighting the fire from the outside.

680News traffic reporter Darryl Dahmer flew over the scene and said he saw smoke and flames coming from the building. The wind was doing most of the work of dispersing the smoke, officials said.

The factory manufactures memory foam for beds. All the employees were forced out of the building. There are no reports of any injuries.

Dufferin was closed from Castlefield to Wingold avenues but has since reopened.

The Ontario Fire Marshal’s office is investigating.

680News airborne traffic reporter Darryl Dahmer took the photos below: 

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