Ontario Newsroom

Office of the Fire Marshal concludes investigation at Sunrise Propane

Archived Bulletin

Office of the Fire Marshal concludes investigation at Sunrise Propane

Ministry of the Solicitor General

After a thorough and technically complex investigation, the Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM) has determined the cause of the propane explosion that occurred at 54 Murray Road, Toronto on August 10th, 2008.

The cause has been identified as a propane leak that resulted from a hose failure during a "tank-to-tank" transfer from one cargo truck to another. The ignition source has not been determined.

Over the course of the lengthy investigation, investigators were faced with many challenges, including asbestos at the scene of the explosion, the decommissioning of thousands of propane tanks at the scene to ensure community and scene safety, and extensive exhibit testing by the OFM.

Recommendations stemming from the OFM's investigation will be sent to the Propane Advisory Team. The Propane Advisory Team was created by the Office of the Fire Marshal and is comprised of government and agency representatives, propane industry and fire service members to identify regulatory issues and resolve industry and fire department challenges as a result of fire service requirements contained in O. Reg. 440/08 (Propane Storage and Handling).

The recommendations will be shared with the Team to help develop strategies for implementing the recommendations and to prevent similar events from happening in the future.

The OFM will provide a redacted copy of the report, which is very technical in nature, upon request and will be releasing an executive summary outlining key findings of its investigation shortly.

Sixteen OFM staff participated including fire investigators, supervisors, forensic fire protection engineers, coordinators and fire protection specialists.

Throughout the investigation the team worked closely with the Office of the Chief Coroner, Toronto Police Service, Toronto Fire and Emergency Services, City of Toronto Facilities Management, Technical Standards and Safety Authority, the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of the Environment.

Background Information


“This incident had a major impact on the community. Two people died, thousands were evacuated and property damage and clean up costs were extensive. It is hoped the OFM's investigation can contribute to preventing similar incidents from ever happening again.”

Patrick Burke

Fire Marshal of Ontario

Media Contacts



Environment and Energy Home and Community Law and Safety