TORONTO (Video)— It will be “a while” before the Ontario fire marshall determines the cause of the three-alarm fire that destroyed Haymishe Bagel Shop on Bathurst Street near Lawrence Avenue on Sunday morning, said a captain with Toronto Fire Services.
Capt. Mike Strapko, who works in public information services, said in a telephone interview that firefighters will not have any information until the water is cleared from the basement of the bakery and any information found is sent to the forensics lab.
“This normally takes a long time,” he told The CJN.
He said that four people were in the bakery when they noticed fire in the basement at around 10 a.m. Seventeen fire trucks and 65 firefighters responded to the 911 call.
Division Cmdr. Bob O’Hallam told CP24 that the first crews arrived and found heavy flames in the basement.
“They tried to enter to attack the fire there, but the floor was already collapsing and they were forced out.”
The fire eventually spread to the apartment above.
Strapko said that the only person injured in the fire – six people were assessed by Toronto Medical Services – was a firefighter who hurt his ankle, but he remained on the job.
It took until around 2 p.m. for the fire to be contained.
Neighbouring businesses were evacuated, said Strapko, but none had more than light smoke damage.
In November 2006, a four-alarm fire destroyed Perl’s Meat & Delicatessen on the same block.