Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Friday, November 24, 2017

I went out yesterday to take a look at the aftermath of Tues' 6 alarm fire. The phrase “nothing but the wreckage” comes to mind when I look at the Club. But amazingly, there's not even a hint of smoke left in the area and it's pretty much back to business in the neigbourhood.

Some of the stores/restaurants along the north/west side of Yonge were closed. No damage was visible but according to some of the workers, the water damage was extensive. To put this into perspective, the Fire Department poured water from 7 aerial hoses, plus hoses strung along condo balconies for over 12 hours. Even after the fire was contained, the water kept coming for about another 12 hours. All through the night, we could hear the pumper trucks on the streets. View from balcony of fire fighters working into night @ Yonge St Clair fire

Not the best photo, but it was damned cold on the balcony so I didn't stick around to make sure all the camera settings were good. By this time, the department had called in an excavator to tear some of the roof off so they could get at the fire inside. Not sure how much water this works out to, but   basements along Yonge & St. Clair were completely flooded. The boilers and electrical systems were severely damaged, many will likely need replacing. 

A few restaurants and my bank (along St. Clair, south side) were already open by the time I padded along yesterday. I peeked in and saw a mountain of food containers and food etc all bagged up ready for the garbage, but they were already opening their doors for business.  The restaurants (just west along St. Clair) closest to the driveway leading into the Racquet Club were closed though.

When you walk along St Clair, going west, you can't help but see the damage: View of the Racquet Club roof damage from St. Clair St.

I struck up a conversation with one of the gas company workers and he showed me where the best spot was to see the damage. It isn't until you turn the corner that you realise how extensive it is: View of damage looking south onto the Racquet Club

The next photos give a better idea of how densely packed everything is on that tiny patch of land. Must have been a bastard of a fire to fight. The balconies on the right, in the first photo below, are where the firefighters strung hoses to point down onto the Club. Aerial ladders ringed the area from the south, west and north.

View of damage with condo balconies View of damage looking south onto the Racquet Club

 I’m not a construction person (not even a handy DIY kind of soul) but it doesn’t look like there’s much left to salvage. Close up view of wreckage from fireSee photos of the fire here: http://bittergrounds.com/index.php/2016-06-13-20-26-44/nokia-diaries/424-massive-fire-yonge-st-clair 

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