A chemical storage warehouse in Brampton went up in flames on December 17 as firefighters and HazMat teams worked through the night to control a blaze of aerosol and gel products, including hair mousse, shoe cleaner and insect repellent.
Brampton Fire crews responded to Empack Spraytech Inc., near Airport Rd. and Hwy. 407, around 1:30 p.m. on December 17, 2012.
According to Brampton Fire Department officials, surrounding businesses were evacuated to avoid exposure to ethanol and heptane.
Some nine fire crews were initially on scene, including the HazMat unit from Station 204. Mississauga and Caledon crews also assisted.
“We had around 20 firefighters on scene all night putting out hotspots at the Walker Drive fire,” the Brampton Fire Department tweeted the morning following the chemical blaze.
Aerial sprayers doused the flames to keep the chemical storage tanks cool and the fire from spreading, fire officials said.
Firefighters on the scene witnessed explosions inside the storage facility and photographs of the scene reveal an intense plume of thick black smoke.
The Brampton Fire Department heaped praise on crews from the nearby Greater Toronto Airports Authority for initially dousing the chemical blaze with special foam.
A quarter of the building collapsed as the fire ripped through the large industrial building.
Some 30 to 50 people were working in the Empack building Monday, and all made it out safely, the company said. One worker was sent to hospital with burns to his hands.
The Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Labour were also on scene.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.