Thursday, April 19

The Exchange in flames

This morning, I watched out my bedroom window as my neighbourhood was engulfed in thick grey smoke.

My boyfriend left for work at around 9:30.  As I was getting ready to leave for school, I read a text message from him telling me to take a look outside.  From the top floor of the Lindsay Building, I watched as a grey cloud hovered beside the Royal Albert Hotel.

One fire truck was on the scene.  It looked to me like the fire was sustained, but I realized shortly afterward this was not the case.  Sirens were soon blaring in all directions, and within the hour, over a dozen service vehicles arrived and yellow tape lined the streets.

At some points, the smoke got so thick I could barely see anything from my 10th floor window.  The smell of burning was slowly seeping into my building - even more so as I entered the hallway.

A few bystanders lined Notre Dame with their phones out, snapping away.  The media was beginning to arrive, and Twitter was blowing up with photos of the incident.

The smoke was dense and I could hardly make out which building was on fire.  I later found out War on Music and Ken Hong's took the majority of the damage.  Needless to say, it was a sad day for two notable businesses in the Exchange District community.

Revisiting the scene after a few hours, the fire was almost completely doused and local businesses around the area were reopening their doors.  The streets are flooded, and it will take some effort to finish cleaning up the area.

 Let's hope this is the last time the Exchange will face a fiery fate.

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