It took almost three hours for Toronto firefighters to get control over a four-alarm blaze in Chinatown on Wednesday.
The fire began just after 10 a.m. at a business on Spadina Avenue, just north of Dundas Street.
It wasn’t long before the fire began to grow and more help was needed. At least a dozen fire trucks were called to the scene.
Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg said it was not an easy fire to get under control.
“(Firefighters) were encountering very high levels of heat, encountering very thick, black smoke,” he explained.
“Unlike we see portrayed on TV, being in a real fire is completely black, it’s not bright, it’s black, it’s blinding and it’s thick, So our crews were working in those conditions.”
Pegg said that at one point there was fear over the structural integrity of the building, that perhaps the floor would give out, so the building was evacuated while crews assessed the safety of the situation.
Firefighters were eventually let back in and were able to knock down the fire.
Officials said there is no concern about structural integrity to the buildings around the fire.
The intersection was closed off to both traffic and transit for six hours but reopened in time for the afternoon rush.