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July 14, 2010
Toronto Fire Services responds to three arson fires in east end garages
City of Toronto Fire Services crews responded to three arson fires within 17 minutes just after 4 a.m. today in the Gerrard Street and Jones Avenue area. In all three fires, materials available in the alleyway leading to the garages had apparently been used as fuel.

The garages contained vehicles that were damaged, with the total value of damages estimated at between $100,000 and $150,000.

Toronto Police Service and the Office of the Fire Marshal are investigating. Anyone with suspicions and information about someone who was known to be outside in this neighbourhood early Wednesday morning (between 3 and 5 a.m.) is urged to call CrimeStoppers (can remain anonymous) at 416-222-TIPS (8477). Or, call long distance toll-free at 1-800-222-TIPS.

Toronto Fire Services recommends the following actions for arson prevention:
- Lock all doors and windows in your home, garage, gates and vehicles.
- Provide exterior lighting around your home at night.
- Secure a back alley or easement to restrict entry by intruders.
- Trim shrubs that may provide a possible source of combustion or cover for a criminal lurking at night.
- Ask neighbours to help keep an eye on your home, offering to do likewise for them.
- Concentrate on monitoring houses where the residents are away, such as on vacation.
- Make sure there are no sources of combustible materials left outdoors in the open, such as rags, wood, gasoline cans, newspapers or old furniture.
- Lock and chain barbecue propane tanks (including spare tanks) to prevent them from being used as a source of flammable material.
- Make sure smoke alarms are installed on every level of your home and test them monthly to confirm that they are operational.
- Plan and practise a family fire escape plan, with two ways outside to a designated meeting place.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
- Report any suspicious person(s) or events to the police immediately.

Information about arson is also available on the Toronto Arson Task Force website at

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents. For information about non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media contact:
Toronto Fire Services Media Line, 416-338-0763



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