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Explosions in ST. Catherines sparked by company fire

One person is in hospital with major burns and several homes and businesses have been evacuated following a fire that sparked several explosions at a business in St. Catharines.

The fire broke out at Sonix, a hazardous materials company at 20 Keefer Road, shortly after 6:30 a. m.

A woman who lives nearby posted a video of the fire on social media and said the initial explosion was so loud she thought a tree had hit her house.

St. Catharines Fire Chief Dave Upper said crews responded to the fire and found several explosions in progress.

At 6:35 a.m. crews responded to a fire call on Keefer Road at a business known as Sonix, a company that handles chemical materials. when crews arrived they reported several explosions that lasted about 45 minutes while they were on scene. Unfortunately we have one injury, a staff member of the company who received severe burns who was transported to St. Catherines General Hospital.

Several nearby homes and businesses were evacuated as a precautionary measure.

"Because of the black smoke coming from the fire, and we have a nice south wind of about 10 km/hour, we decided to evacuate the neighborhood just north of the building," Upper said.

Residents of the evacuated homes have been sent to a local community center. Other residents have been told to shelter in place and to keep doors and windows closed to avoid smoke.

St. Catharines Fire Services said the Ministry of Environment will monitor air quality in the area.

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