A small village in York Region saw its local fire hall gutted on Sunday, as tall flames shot through its roof and black smoke billowed into the air.
Neighbours told CBC News that they first heard an explosion in Mount Albert at about 8 a.m.
Within minutes, firefighters had been called in from stations in Holland Landing and Queensville to respond to the emergency at 22 Princess Street.
The first firefighters who arrived at the scene reported that the station was “fully involved,” according to Fire Chief Phil Dawson.
The station was still smouldering as of the noon-hour. No injuries were reported as a result of the fire.
'A substantial loss'
Mount Albert is one member in a group of communities that are part of the Town of East Gwillimbury, where the local fire service is made up both on-call volunteer and full-time professional firefighters.
Virginia Hackson, the mayor of the Town of East Gwillimbury, told CBC News that the fire caused significant damage to the station and the six vehicles parked inside — among which was a year-old fire truck worth around $700,000.
“It really is a substantial loss for our community at this time,” Hackson told reporters on Sunday.
Hackson said that a plan is being implemented to keep the community safe, in the wake of the fire at the station.
“Right now, it’s a matter of making sure that we have firefighters on the scene should there be any issues in Mount Albert,” she said.
Hackson said it is too early to say what caused the fire.
The Ontario Fire Marshal is now investigating.