650 Parliament: Update October 2, 2019

October 2, 2019

Toronto's Fire Chief, Matthew Pegg has released an update into the fire investigation of 650 Parliament Street. The Ontario Office of the Fire Marshal (OFMEM) could not conclusively determine what caused the fire in a year ago on August 21, 2018. However, the Fire Marshall's report has advised that the catastrophic failure was potentially caused by water damage to the building's electrical system, a lack of a neutral bond wire and/or due to the age and maintenance of the building's electrical system.


650 Parliament Inc. management:

No update to provide.


From Toronto Fire Services:

Statement from Toronto's Fire Chief re: Fire Marshal report on August 21, 2018 fire at 650 Parliament Street


Toronto Fire Services (TFS) is continuing to review the comprehensive fire investigation report, provided by the Ontario Office of the Fire Marshal (OFMEM), into the 6 alarm fire at 650 Parliament that occurred in August 2018. 

The OFMEM determined that the catastrophic failure of the electrical system in the building caused an explosion in the electrical room and smaller explosions and fires throughout the building.

Given the extent of the damage that occurred as a result of the explosions and fire, the Provincial Fire Investigators from the OFMEM were unable to conclusively determine the exact cause of this occurrence. However, they have advised that the potential causes for this occurrence would include:

1. Water impingement into the building's electrical system;

2. Lack of a neutral bond wire in the building's electrical room; and

3. The age and maintenance of the building's electrical system.

I would like to thank the Ontario Office of the Fire Marshal for their assistance in investigating the origin, cause and circumstance of this fire.


Matthew Pegg
Fire Chief & General Manager
Toronto Fire Services

From Toronto Building:

No update to provide.


Next update: October 15, 2019

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