Toronto firefighters work 6-alarm blaze
Feb 20,2008 00:00 by UPI

TORONTO - Toronto firefighters Wednesday battled an early morning six-alarm downtown fire that swept eight storefronts and apartments above the stores.

The 911 call was received just after 5 a.m., and the initial crews escalated the status quickly when there were concerns people were trapped in apartments over the two-story row of old buildings, CFTR-AM reported.

Fire crews later said everyone had been evacuated safely, CP24-TV reported. City buses were called to shelter the evacuated residents from sub-freezing temperatures, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., reported.

At least one of the buildings collapsed and the fire was still considered out of control at 7:30 a.m., firefighters said.

There were at least 49 firefighting vehicles on the scene, flanked by police and ambulances on Queen Street, a major east-west artery in Toronto.

Blocks away, fans had to be installed in three subway stations to blow away smoke, CFTR said.

Initial speculation was the fire began in a shed behind one of the buildings but firefighters said it was too early to confirm the blaze's origin, the reports said.

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