Owners of Mississauga building that exploded may not have had proper permit

When firefighters arrived at a burning warehouse near Airport Road and Steeles Avenue this morning, they didn't know there were explosive materials inside

Fire and city officials are looking into whether the owners of a Mississauga industrial building that exploded this morning had gone through the proper occupancy and fire code permits.

Deputy chief Kevin Duffy says the last time firefighters were inside the building near Airport Rd and Steeles Ave in March 2013 for a routine survey, it was vacant.

Since then, a business has started storing imported goods inside the warehouse.

When firefighters arrived just before 5 a.m. Tuesday, they approached the burning building not knowing that there were butane lighters and aerosol cans inside. Officials say that just as firefighters reached the door, the building exploded and four of them were injured.

One of the firefighters suffered life-threatening injuries, but has since been upgraded to serious condition.

Duffy says they have no record of the owners of the building getting a proper permit. The process would have involved a visit by the fire department to make sure materials were being properly stored.

He says the sudden explosion was unusual, and not at all typical in a building that is set up according to the fire code.

Speaking with reporters, Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion, says that so far it seems the owners did not have an occupancy permit. She stressed how important such permits are. 

"I hope that this is a lesson for many people in the business of occupying buildings that it is essential for the sake of saving lives, and especially the lives of our firefighters, by letting the city know that they are occupying a building and what they're going to do in the building and what they're going to store in the building," she said. 

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