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York Memorial fire finally extinguished 24 hours later

Last Updated May 8, 2019 at 7:16 pm EDT

The last of the smoke is finally dissipating more than 24 hours after a massive fire broke out at York Memorial Collegiate Institute.

Fire crews remain on scene at the west-end school and a single aerial hose continues to pour water onto the structure.

Firefighters are on the roof inspecting the burned out interior, checking the smoldering material below for for hot spots and any places that still need to be hosed down, as well as the structural stability of the roof.

Platoon chief William Bygrave said the next step could be using heavy equipment to open up the roof of the school.

At the height of the six-alarm blaze, at least 150 fire officials were on scene in the area of Eglinton Avenue and Trethewey Drive.

The fire caused much of the roof to collapse, along with some of the exterior brick facade along the upper portion of the building.

Emergency crews were first called to the school for a two-alarm fire around 2:15 p.m. Monday and found flames visible from the second floor. The fire broke out in the auditorium but was then extinguished. Two people, including a firefighter, were taken to hospital with minor injuries, according to paramedics.

However, just before 3:30 a.m. on Tuesday, firefighters were called back to the scene after flames and heavy smoke began once again billowing out of the auditorium.

Officials said the two fires were “separate and distinct.” Both are being investigated.

The heavy smoke from the fire caused evacuations of the area, including surrounding schools and homes.

Area residents have since been allowed back home.

Classes at both York Memorial and George Harvey Collegiate Institute have been cancelled for Wednesday. Staff from the schools have been reassigned to Oakwood Collegiate Institute.