In Depth - Toronto Close Call

This close call took place in February in Toronto, and is featured in the May issue of May Issue of Firehouse Magazine. - Click to View the Cover

Videos Provided By Jamie Larner (Windows Media Player):
Caught On Tape - Part I (Windows Media)
Caught On Tape - Part II (Windows Media)
Click to open media play or right click on link above and 'save as' to download

Photos from the Scene: View the Slideshow by Photographer John Hanley Now

Toronto firefighters thought they were responding to a "routine" car fire on the cold afternoon of Feb. 26, 2006, but what followed was anything but - and it was all captured on film.

Toronto-based freelance photographer John Hanley ( responded to the scene after radio reports indicated the car was in fact inside an underground garage attached to the home in Toronto's affluent Forest Hill neighborhood.

First-arriving Pumper 135 found a fully involved vehicle inside the garage and observed smoke filling the house. Fire Alarm had increased the response to a full first alarm moments earlier and, based on Pumper 135's arrival report, upgraded the fire to a working fire response, bringing a heavy squad, rapid intervention team pumper and an air-light unit.

The initial attack using a pre-connected 1 1/2-inch line from Pumper 135's tank was successful in knocking down the heavy fire, but the pump operator soon discovered the hydrant in front of the house directly across the street was faulty and the tank soon ran dry.

Additional companies were now arriving on the scene. A second hydrant was located and lines were stretched to attack the fire. Crews from Aerial 135 and Rescue 341 initiated a primary search of the house, which now was showing a medium smoke condition. Things then started to happen quickly.

Without warning, heavy fire conditions appeared on the first floor and the front hallway quickly became fully involved. Fire raced up the stairs and cut off the crew