An explosion at a propane gas plant in the north of the Canadian city of Toronto caused the evacuation of thousands of people and the set up of a two-mile exclusion zone.
Residents of the Keele and Wilson areas have been ordered by the police to leave their homes.
And one of the city’s busiest highways has been shut down by the series of explosions that occured at 0350 local time.
No-one was seriously injured in the incident, police said.
Witnesses described the sky lighting up in the glow of an enormous fireball before turning black with smoke, and some residents said the blast caused their houses to rock.
“It was just a tremendous explosion and blew all the windows out of the house. I just managed to get out of there in time”, local resident Robert Helman told the Associated Press news agency.
For several hours, firefighters battled the blazes at the Sunrise Propane Industrial Gases facility.
Firefighters were close to extinguishing all the burning tanks, significantly reducing the risk of another explosion, said Bob O’Hallarn, Toronto fire services division commander.
“I think we were very lucky”, he said, adding that “there was a very large of amount of fire when we arrived. It could have been much more serious.”
He saw at least five badly damaged houses, said Mr O’Hallarn, adding that it could be hours before residents are allowed back to their homes.