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Fire at U of T prompts evacuation of athletic centre

Police tape demarking a crime scene.

JOHN LEHMANN/The GLOBE AND MAI

A fire broke out at the University of Toronto's athletic centre Thursday afternoon, forcing its evacuation, but was quickly controlled and did not cause any injuries.

Toronto firefighters received a call at 2:15 p.m. after a piece of insulation caught fire during maintenance work on the athletic centre's roof. Although photos posted to social media showed a large cloud of dark smoke pouring out of the top of the building, the fire was extinguished quickly and caused no damage. The centre is open again and functioning normally, a U of T spokesperson said.

"The fire is currently out. ... We are still on scene," said Stephan Powell, information officer for Toronto Fire Services.

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The athletic centre is a large facility at the west end of U of T's campus, at the intersection of Harbord Street and Spadina Avenue. It has seven gymnasia, three swimming pools, a weight room and other workout facilities.

The university is officially closed for its winter break but the athletic centre is open on a holiday schedule after being closed on Dec. 31 and Jan 1.

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