No injuries reported in fire after explosion at Scarborough auto shop

No injuries reported in fire after explosion at Scarborough auto shop

Fire crews are investigating a blaze caused by an explosion at an auto body repair and paint shop in Scarborough overnight Thursday.

Capt. David Eckerman of Toronto Fire Service doesn't believe anyone was injured in the blast, but says investigators haven't yet been able to enter the building to do a search.

The explosion erupted shortly before 4 a.m. at the rear of the business along Midland Avenue, in the area of Lawrence Avenue East and Kennedy Road. A security guard on-site at the time heard the bang and called 911.

Eckerman says the building's sprinkler system was able to "hold the fire back" until fire crews could respond.

"Toronto Fire arrived to find the sprinklers operating, smoke visible and the smell of gasoline," Eckerman told CBC Toronto early Thursday morning.

It took up to 15 trucks and a ground monitor — a large hose that delivers high water flow rates and is typically used to fight tanker truck fires — to put out the blaze, he said.

The fire was brought under control just before 5:30 a.m. — 1 ½ hours later.

Images from the scene showed a portion of the back of the shop that had suffered the bulk of the damage. The windows and some of the roof had collapsed in the explosion.

It's unclear what caused the explosion, Eckerman said, and it's possible that there was more than one.

He added that a neighbouring business has also been affected by the fire. The investigation is ongoing.