What witnesses are saying about the 'crazy' fire at the Badminton and Racquet club
'Everything smells in the entire area,' says passerby
People watching the massive fire at Yonge Street and St. Clair Avenue West say they've never seen anything like it before.
Firefighters first received a call about the fire at the Badminton and Racquet Club at 25 St. Clair Avenue W. at about 9:20 a.m.
Lindsay LeBlanc was working in the building next door and witnessed the roof collapse.
"There were a lot of firefighters on the roof when [it] happened," she said. "It was intense."
Heroic <a href="https://twitter.com/cnnbrk">@cnnbrk</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/torontofire">@torontofire</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TorontoFire?src=hash">#TorontoFire</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/CP24">@CP24</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/CBCNews">@CBCNews</a> <a href="https://t.co/LsFePoBbXy">pic.twitter.com/LsFePoBbXy</a>—@_linds88
Before her building was evacuated, she described the smell in her office as "horrible." She said many families go to the sports club for lunch, so the situation could have been much worse.
Maija Palkeinen has lived in the area her whole life and used to play tennis at the club when she was young. She gives credit to firefighters describing the area as "a tight little pocket to get a fire under control."
She was out walking her dog when the fire started and described the scene as "quite spectacular."
5 alarm fire! <a href="https://twitter.com/CP24">@CP24</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/globeandmail">@globeandmail</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/CBCAlerts">@CBCAlerts</a> <a href="https://t.co/CqsOAsODUS">pic.twitter.com/CqsOAsODUS</a>—@maijapalkeinen
She said that even with all doors to her apartment closed, she can still smell the blaze from home.
"I smell like a campfire, my dog smells like a campfire — everything smells in the entire area."
"This is really, really crazy — the best way I can describe it," said Sarah DeGrace, who watched the fire from an office tower on the seventh floor.
She said that firefighters were in an adjacent condo and were pulling out hoses from three or four balconies.
Incredible progression of Yonge/St. Clair fire (pics credit to: <a href="https://twitter.com/sarahU277">@sarahU277</a>) <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Toronto?src=hash">#Toronto</a> <a href="https://t.co/srd4QjIztN">pic.twitter.com/srd4QjIztN</a>—@jameswattie
Maurice Guindi had a bird's eye view of the fire from his office on the 9th floor and said he could smell the smoke in his building. He described the smoke as being 15 storeys high and a grey-yellow colour.
Guindi could see firefighters inspecting surrounding buildings, and added that "buildings on St. Clair are very close to each other." He said his building might also be evacuated.
Police have closed the intersection as a result of the six-alarm fire and traffic is being diverted.
Capt. David Eckerman, public information officer for Toronto Fire Service, said everyone who was in the Badminton and Racquet Club has been accounted for and is safe.
The building was evacuated before fire crews arrived and nearby buildings, including a condo, have been evacuated as well. It's not immediately clear how many buildings were evacuated.