Toronto Police issue least-breaking news ever: Empress Hotel fire was arson

Toronto Police issue least-breaking news ever: Empress Hotel fire was arson

The police investigate the first and Yonge and Gould Streets (Image: Danielle Scott)

When the Empress Hotel—better known to most Ryerson students as “the old Salad King building”—burned down last month, the circumstances were sketchy enough that we suspected that some kind of shenanigans were to blame. And, according to the Toronto Police, we were right. Yay us.

From the Toronto Star:

A six-alarm fire that gutted a historical building on the corner of Yonge and Gould Sts. last month was an act of arson, police confirmed Monday…

The building had been fenced off after the building’s northern wall collapsed eight months earlier, crippling six businesses.

More than 125 firefighters battled the blaze as 32 trucks lined the streets. Around 6 a.m., two firefighters had to be rescued from the burning building after falling five metres from the roof of the nearby HMV store. One firefighter was treated for smoke inhalation while the other suffered a back injury.

Of course, the police haven’t found a suspect yet, but the community is moving on. According to the Globe and Mail, area councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam has organized some of the local businesses into a working group to study the redevelopment of the area, including the now-ruined site.

We hope this is the latest in a new trend, where the police efficiently broadcast news that a lot of people had already hastily concluded. They’ve moved quickly to assure us that threatening a detainee with electrified genitals is “completely unacceptable and shocking,” not to mention sounding like something out of Abu Ghraib.  Perhaps the next release from TPS will be along the lines of “That G20 thing: sorry, our bad”?

• Empress Hotel fire ruled as arson [Toronto Star]
• Police say arson caused Yonge fire [Globe and Mail]
Cop threatened to Taser prisoners [Toronto Sun]