Res­i­dents dis­placed in apart­ment fire moved to shelter at York Univer­sity

The Peterborough Examiner - - CANADA & WORLD -

TORONTO — City of­fi­cials say an emer­gency shelter for hun­dreds of peo­ple who were dis­placed after an apart­ment fire in Toronto has been moved to a nearby univer­sity.

They say York Univer­sity of­fered to house the res­i­dents and the Cana­dian Red Cross will pro­vide meals, cots, blan­kets, show­ers, per­sonal hy­giene items and pet care.

Roughly 700 res­i­dents had to leave their homes and one per­son died when a fire erupted in a 15-storey apart­ment build­ing in the city’s north end.

The city says au­thor­i­ties, en­gi­neers and restora­tion ex­perts are work­ing to re­open the build­ing as soon as pos­si­ble.

About 165 res­i­dents have signed in with the Cana­dian Red Cross and 100 res­i­dents have stayed at the aid or­ga­ni­za­tion’s shelter since the blaze.

About 100 fire­fight­ers and 22 trucks raced to the scene of the five-alarm blaze Fri­day as flames and smoke belched from the build­ing. Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg said Satur­day that fire­fight­ers dis­cov­ered the body on the eighth floor around 1 a.m.

“Un­for­tu­nately, given the heavy flames … we sim­ply were not able to get into those suites un­til such time as the crews had sup­pressed the fire,” he said.

The of­fice of On­tario Fire Mar­shal said it has traced the source of the blaze to the eighth floor apart­ment where the de­ceased per­son was found.

Dur­ing the blaze, some ter­ri­fied ten­ants went out on their bal­conies where wit­nesses said they could be heard scream­ing for help.

Pegg called the work to ex­tin­guish the fire a “de­mand­ing, com­plex op­er­a­tion” and said fire­fight­ers re­moved six peo­ple from their apart­ments.

“We lit­er­ally had crews work­ing on ev­ery floor of the build­ing, mov­ing from door-to-door-to-door,” he said. “The search for oc­cu­pants in­side the build­ing com­menced im­me­di­ately and lit­er­ally never stopped.”

Toronto Mayor John Tory said he was sad­dened to learn of the death caused by the fire, but thanked first re­spon­ders and the Cana­dian Red Cross for their work to help those dis­placed.

STEVE RUS­SELL TORONTO STAR

Ex­perts from the Of­fice of the Fire Mar­shal in­ves­ti­gate the bal­cony of the apart­ment where the fire is thought to have started.

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