Fire Strikes Topper; Industry Has Their Back!
An early-morning fire on Feb. 11 grew into a five-alarm blaze that heavily damaged Topper Linen & Uniform Rental Service, Toronto, according to news reports.
Police on patrol just after 5 a.m. noticed smoke coming from the building on Murlock Avenue where Topper Linen has operated for many years. The fire was upgraded twice and by 10:30 a.m. it was declared a five-alarm fire. At one point, some 25 trucks and 100 firefighters battled the conflagration. By 12:45 p.m. the fire was mostly under control, and an hour later, area residents were cleared to return to their homes. No one one was injured in the blaze.
The source of the fire and the precise extent of the damage remains under investigation. In any event, Topper Linen President Tim Topornicki said he’s determined to “soldier on” and that he and his staff will do whatever’s necessary to continue to operate the business his family founded in 1956. “It will be OK, we’ll get through it,” said Topornicki, who has served on TRSA’s board of directors. “We’re one of the only Canadian laundries that are left in Toronto. It’s all American-owned now.”
In an e-mail to Textile Services Weekly, Topornicki thanked his industry colleagues from across North America for their outpouring of support. “I have been overwhelmed at the kindness of this industry,” he said. “People have been contacting me from all over the USA and Canada. They have offered any assistance they could provide, as far away as Portland, OR. Some want to jump on a plane with staff to assist in crisis management and a strategic plan going forward. I am overwhelmed with emotion at what a wonderful group of people this industry is, and how everyone rallies when one of their friends is down.”
In a “message to all TRSA members,” Topornicki added, “Thank you to all of you who have reached out to offer assistance in our time of despair. It is very evident how strong our industry is on both sides of the border, and we at Topper appreciate your kind words and encouragement. It is the people of this industry who create so much passion, dedication and sharing, that I am proud to be part of for the last 40 years. Topper's strong family values, and commitment to our customers will prevail. We will continue to respect our customers with our commitment to honesty and integrity. We will soldier on. Respectfully. Tim T. …” Click here and here for details.