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Fire at Toronto high school prompts evacuation Add to ...

A high school in east Toronto was evacuated Wednesday morning after a fire broke out in one of its classrooms, sending thick billows of smoke into the halls.

Late Wednesday, the Toronto District School Board announced that Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute would remain closed for the duration of the week, but students are being asked to report to other schools. Grade 9 and 10 students should report to Eastern Commerce Collegiate; Grades 11 and 12, to Monarch Park Collegiate and special education students to Wilkinson Public School. Parents should check the TDSB website on the weekend for updates.

Firefighters say an alarm was triggered in the drama room of Danforth Collegiate, on Greenwood Avenue near Danforth Avenue, at about 10:20 a.m.

No teachers or students were injured, but one firefighter received minor treatment at the scene, after he became overheated from fighting the flames inside.

By the time firefighters entered the building, the fire was rolling over their heads, platoon chief Norm Clements said, adding, "It was a very serious fire."

Firefighters are doing a secondary search of the building, but said they are confident that all staff and students left safely. About 1,200 students attend the school.

Farzana Khakarh, a grade 10 student who was in the drama room when the fire broke out, said she saw thick, grey smoke coming from an area behind a stage shortly after class began.

She said the smoke appeared to be coming from a closet, but students didn't stay long.

"We just got out. We didn't want to be stuck in that class," she said.

Police said the fire was under control by about 11:45, but Chief Clements said the school could remain closed for days to clear the smoke and allow for cleaning.

"It's not like it was 25 years ago, when everything was natural products. These are plastics, toxic products. When they burn, it's killer smoke," he said.

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