1 dead, 1 seriously injured after 5-alarm fire tears through residential building in downtown Toronto
CBC News

A male is dead and another person is seriously injured after a five-alarm fire in a residential property in downtown Toronto on Monday.

Firefighters were called to 160 Bathurst Street, south of Richmond Street West, at about 5:30 a.m. for reports of a fire in a basement. The fire has been extinguished.

Toronto paramedics took two people to hospital. One person initially suffered life-threatening injuries, but later died, Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg said. The other person suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

Pegg said next of kin has been notified.

The Ontario Fire Marshall's Office has been notified and it will investigate the origin, cause and circumstances of the fire, Pegg said.

What was initially reported to be a three-alarm fire quickly escalated to a five-alarm.

Fire brought under control

The fire was brought under control nearly four hours after it started and is out, but Pegg said firefighters will remain at the scene for some time to monitor hot spots.

"Operations are still ongoing," he said.

Pegg said crews set up two tower ladders in an attempt to get some access to the roof as they fought the blaze.

He said this was done "to ultimately control the forward progress of the fire."

Toronto Hydro and the TTC were also called to the area to cut power to all the wires overhead, Pegg said.

Nearby buildings affected by smoke

At one point, when the volume of smoke was at its highest, it drifted into nearby buildings.

"When the really heavy smoke was emanating, we had a number of alarms in the area and a number of reports from citizens that were concerned. It's been a very busy morning in the area," Pegg said.

"When we get those reports of smoke in a building, even if it's next door and we're reasonably confident that it's from this, we dispatch crews to check and make sure that we're not dealing with subsequent fires."

Toronto Fire Capt. Adrian Ratushniak said a TTC bus was brought to the area to shelter residents who live in the affected buildings.

Fire affected some TTC services

The TTC said the fire affected some services on Monday morning.

The 509 Harbourfront between Spadina Avenue and Exhibition Loop, the 501 Queen and 504 King streetcars have all resumed regular service, according to the TTC.

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