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Toronto Fire says Agincourt Recreation Centre blaze was accidental

Last Updated Feb 12, 2019 at 6:56 pm EDT

About two weeks after a massive fire ripped through the Agincourt Recreation Centre, Toronto Fire tells CityNews the blaze was accidental.

Toronto Fire Captain David Eckerman says a forensic investigation will take place to determine exactly what caused it, which could last several months.

Councillor for Scarborough-North Cynthia Lai visited the building on Monday afternoon and posted photos from the walk-through on her WeChat page.

The pictures show extensive damage to the pool area and parts of the building’s roof.

The post says city officials and contractors are working around the clock to remove dangerous parts of the structure. Crews expect to update city council in about two to three weeks with a timeline for repairs.

The blaze that took over 40 hours to extinguish broke out around 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 31.

The fire was quickly upgraded to a four-alarm blaze due to the cold, which made it necessary to call in more trucks in order to rotate crews battling the blaze in frigid temperatures. Around 15 units and close to 50 firefighters were on scene.

Fire Chief Matthew Pegg called it an extremely “stubborn” blaze, adding that 14 inches of insulation, wood and other material in the roof made it difficult if crews to extinguish the flames.

Despite how long it took to suppress the fire, Pegg said firefighters were able to prevent any extension of the fire into the arena portion of the building.

Mayor John Tory said the recreation centre would be rebuilt as soon as possible and the city is working on a plan to relocate as many of the rec centre’s programs as possible to other facilities, like the Toronto Pam Am Sports Centre, the Centennial Recreation Centre and the Birchmount Community Centre.

Related stories:

Arena spared, minimal fire damage inside Scarborough rec centre: Pegg

Tory promises fire-ravaged Agincourt Recreation Centre will be rebuilt