City continues to co-ordinate the safe return of residents to their homes

    TORONTO, Aug. 11 /CNW/ - It has been 36 hours since the explosion and
fire at a propane facility on Murray Road caused the evacuation of a 1.6 km
area, affecting thousands of residents and businesses. The City co-ordinated
an immediate response to safely evacuate residents and provide temporary
shelter and assistance until they could safely return to their homes.
    While the majority of residents were able to return safely to their homes
within 24 hours of the explosion, approximately 100 homes cannot be safely
accessed until an asbestos clean up plan and air quality testing can be
    "The City's emergency services did an incredible job responding to this
significant event and ensuring the safe evacuation of residents," said 
Mayor David Miller. "There are always unknowns during events such as this and
I would like to thank the affected residents for the patience and
understanding they have shown throughout this challenging time."
    Acting Chief of Toronto Fire Services, Jim Shelton, today confirmed the
fire was put out as of late yesterday afternoon. Toronto Fire Services remains
on-scene to support the Office of the Fire Marshal, which is investigating the
cause of the explosion.
    A substance, suspected to be asbestos, was identified yesterday evening,
delaying the initial planned re-entry and more material was found and
confirmed to be asbestos earlier today. Air quality testing equipment will be
brought to the site to ensure the material is not airborne and a clean up plan
will begin, once approved by the Ministry of the Environment.
    Once the clean up is complete, Toronto Police will begin an escorted,
street-by-street re-entry for the residents of the area that remains closed.
The affected streets are:

    -   Frederick Tessdale Circuit, building 201-226 only,
    -   all of Murray Road,
    -   all of Garratt Boulevard,
    -   Wilson Avenue from Murray Road to Ancastor Road,
    -   Regent Road from Murray Road to Ancastor Road,
    -   Katherine Road from Murray Road to Ancastor Road,
    -   Spalding Road from Murray Road to Ancastor Road,
    -   Plewes Road from Murray Road to Ancastor,
    -   Gilley Road from Garratt Boulevard to Ancastor Road,
    -   Home Road west of Ancastor Road,
    -   west side of Ancastor Road.

    Affected residents will receive updates at the Evacuation Centre at York
    University, on the City's website at, by calling Access Toronto at 416-338-0338 and through
the media.
    Although the location is currently zoned to allow the existence of a
propane facility, approval and regulation these facilities is under the
provincial jurisdiction of the Technical Standards and Safety Authority
(TSSA). City officials have been working to harmonize zoning bylaws throughout
the city and will also explore any new regulating authorities that may be
available under the new City of Toronto Act.
    The City's Shelter, Support and Housing Administration staff will
continue to operate the evacuation centre at York University for as long as it
is needed. At the centre, affected residents can access many supports,
including the Insurance Bureau of Canada, Children's Services and psychosocial
    TTC provided 55 buses to assist with the evacuation yesterday and
continues to have two buses on standby at the evacuation centre to assist

    For updates as more information becomes available, visit the City's
website at


For further information:

For further information: Media contact: Kevin Sack, Director, Strategic
Communications, (416) 919-6500 (cell)

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