Officials don’t know what caused inferno



Vince Talotta/Torstar News Service


The area destroyed by a fire along Queen Street West yesterday is shown from a plane.


The following is a timeline of yesterday’s blaze on Queen Street West:

5 a.m. — Firefighters are called to a five-alarm fire at 615 Queen St. W. The blaze spreads between Bathurst and Portland streets. The fire is soon upgraded to six-alarm status. More than 40 emergency vehicles are called to the area, including about 150 emergency workers.

6:30 to 7:00 a.m. — Residents of 165 Bathurst St. are evacuated.

7:15 a.m. (approx.) — Duke’s Cycle, a landmark business established in 1914, collapses.

Mid-morning — The fire is contained, though pockets of flames remain.

12:30 p.m. — While acknowledging rumours the fire was started by a drug lab, officials emphasize they don’t know what started the blaze. The fire is reduced to five-alarm status.

Mid-afternoon — Demolition crews begin removing piles of rubble in front of the gutted buildings to help firefighters put out flames trapped below. The fire is downgraded to four-alarm.

The aftermath — The area remains blocked to traffic. Pedestrians may be allowed in the area today. All Bathurst and Queen streetcars have been diverted. Once the fire is out, the Ontario Fire Marshal will investigate to find its source.