NEWS

Toronto Warehouse Fire: Audio Of Firefighter Falling Through Collapsed Floor

01/12/2012 10:21 EST | Updated 01/12/2012 10:33 EST

A dramatic recording of a firefighter's close call during a massive fire in Toronto has been posted online.

The fire that gutted a self-storage warehouse in Toronto's Junction neighbourhood began on Monday morning and occupied Toronto firefighters for most of that day.

The Toronto Star reported that fire marshalls were still not able to enter the building on Wednesday.

"There was a tremendous amount of heat. A lot of goods were piled on top of each other and they could be smouldering underneath. There may not be open flames, but as debris is removed, oxygen gets in and it could burst into flames," Toronto Fire spokesman Stephan Powell told the Star.

CBC reported that the building will be torn down but crews will still have to watch out for hot spots that could "burn for days."

One firefighter had a close call while fighting the blaze. Kevin Aucoin fell through a collapsed floor at around 2:30 p.m. on Monday, hours after firefighters had arrived on the scene. A dramatic audio recording reveals the confusion and drama around the incident.

"We have a mayday, Kevin Aucoin has fallen through the third floor," one of the other firefighters can be heard saying on the recording embedded below (at around 10:10 in the timeline of the video below).

Fortunately, a few minutes later, Aucoin chimes in. "All crews, this is Kevin Aucoin. I've fallen through to the second floor. I can see light," an out-of-breath Aucoin can be heard.

He was able to exit the building on his own and was taken to hospital as a precaution.

The warehouse was a nightmare for firefighters. "You've got everything there from tires, to appliances, to chairs, furniture, that's what's burning," Div. Cmmdr. Mike McCoy told CTV News.

Anyone who's been to a self-storage warehouse also knows that the buildings are a warren of identical, sometimes confusing rooms and full of locked doors which would make fighting a fire even more dangerous.