TORONTO – An explosion in the bathroom of a popular coffee shop killed one man Sunday in Toronto's downtown shopping district, police said.
Toronto police Chief Bill Blair described the incident at the Tim Hortons coffee and doughnut shop as a fire in the washroom — not a bombing — and said police were not looking for any suspects. He refused to speculate on a cause "until we determine precisely what happened in that cubicle and what caused those flames that took that man's life."
Later, Toronto police Sgt. Don Cole said gasoline or a similar accelerant likely caused the explosion.
A customer entered the washroom and noticed the smell of gasoline coming from a stall, Cole said. The customer fled after seeing the gasoline can — and moments before the explosion, Cole said.
Witnesses reported hearing a loud bang; police said no one else was involved and there were no other injuries.
Daryl Fuglerud, a fire department spokesman, said workers tried unsuccessfully to revive the man, who had burns to his body and had not been identified.
The body remained inside the coffee shop hours after the blast, while authorities cordoned off a block of Yonge Street and evacuated the area. The intersection of Yonge and Bloor Street is one of the busiest shopping districts in the city.
Police said an emergency task force unit was dispatched to a second Tim Hortons coffee shop after a customer reported a suspicious package. The package turned out to be a clock in a shopping bag, Cole said.
A second loud bang was heard in the area several hours after the first explosion, when police detonated a suspicious duffel bag found nearby as a precaution.
"(Police) dealt with it by exploding the package on the street," Blair said. "There was nothing in the package of a suspicious or problematic nature."