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4 firefighters injured in Mississauga blaze

By: The Canadian Press

 | Apr 23, 2014 - 11:13 AM |
A firefighter watches an industrial fire in Mississauga, Ont. on Wednesday, April 23, 2014. One firefighter is in critical condition and three others were injured while fighting the three-alarm blaze. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

A firefighter watches an industrial fire in Mississauga, Ont. on Wednesday, April 23, 2014. One firefighter is in critical condition and three others were injured while fighting the three-alarm blaze. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - Four firefighters were injured this morning after an explosion and wall collapse during a massive blaze at a warehouse in Mississauga, Ont.

Fire Chief John McDougall says one of the four men, who was taken to a Toronto hospital in critical condition, has improved and his condition upgraded to serious but non-life-threatening.

Two others suffered broken bones, with one of them undergoing surgery and the other awaiting tests.

McDougall says the fourth man was treated for smoke inhalation and was expected to be released this afternoon.

While unable to give personal information on the men, McDougall says all four are "seasoned" and experienced firefighters at the mid-career level, and that all had been conscious and talking in hospital.

Peel police Const. Thomas Ruttan says the warehouse is a storage facility for imported goods and that butane lighters and aerosol cans of insect spray stored there caused explosions inside.

McDougall says the wall likely collapsed as a result of the explosion and that the firefighters' injuries were consistent with those caused by such a blast.

Ruttan says while the fire has been contained, crews are still on the scene, putting out hot spots.

While there were no concerns about toxicity in the smoke coming from the building, Ruttan said people in the area were advised to avoid breathing in smoke if possible.

Huge clouds of black smoke and numerous large fireballs lit the pre-dawn sky at the scene of the blaze (near Steeles Avenue East and Airport Road) just north of Pearson International Airport.

Witnesses reported hearing small explosions and a series of loud popping sounds after the fire began before 5 a.m.

Airport officials say flights were not affected by the thick smoke across the area but there were numerous delays involving street traffic, commuter trains and local transit service.

The fire remains under investigation.

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