Etobicoke home under construction gutted by fire

Etobicoke home under construction gutted by fire
Fire destroys home under renovation in Etobicoke
An early morning fire has destroyed a house under construction in south Etobicoke on Wednesday, but no one was injured in the blaze.

A week ago, Toronto police said they were called to the same address for a report of an alleged arson.

The residential fire on Beta Street, near Evans Avenue and Brown's Line, prompted Toronto firefighters to evacuate homes on either side as a precaution. Flames could be seen from kilometres away.

We were getting reports from our dispatch that the flames were 40 feet high. Upon my arrival we were closer to 60 feet high, District Chief Chris Rowland told CP24 at the scene.

Etobicoke home under construction gutted by fire – 680 NEWS

Firefighters rescued an elderly woman in one neighbouring home and paramedics sheltered her in an emergency vehicle until relatives were able to pick her up, according to Steve Henderson, spokesperson for Toronto Paramedic Services.

Flames were shooting through the roof of the house under construction when firefighters arrived on the scene and the house was engulfed in flames. Crews were called to the fire at about 3:20 a.m.

Capt. Michael Westwood, spokesperson for Toronto Fire Services, said the fire gutted most of the structure. An estimate of the damage was not available. The homes on either side were slightly damaged.

"The roof, walls collapsed, the floor is unsafe. Fire investigators will be on scene later this morning to start their investigation," he told CBC Toronto.

A firefighter aims his hose at the flames of a fire at a home that had been under construction on Beta Street in Etobicoke Wednesday October 31, 2018.

Westwood said the fire was brought under control by 5:30 a.m. Twelve fire trucks and 45 firefighters responded to the call.

The cause and where the fire originated are currently being investigated, but fire officials have not deemed the blaze to be suspicious, he said.

A home under construction on Beta Street in Etobicoke was destroyed after a two-alarm blaze broke out there Wednesday October 31, 2018.

"They look at every type of possibility. That's up to the investigators to determine," Westwood said.

We just had to fight a real hot, hot fire. The heat was so intense that most of the steel beams are all bent, he said.

On Oct. 25, Const. Allyson Douglas-Cook said police were called to the home by the homeowner and officers confirmed they found evidence of a small fire in the basement.

The home has been under renovations for the last year and a half, she added. "We know that much," she said.

He said the owner went by the home to check on it at around midnight last night, just hours before the blaze broke out.

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A home under construction on Beta Street in Etobicoke is pictured just a week before it went up in flames. (Submitted)

Global News has obtained a witness video of a two-alarm fire at a home under renovation in Etobicoke on Wednesday. Video credit: Michael Sannuto

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An investigation is underway to determine the cause of a two-alarm fire that destroyed a home under renovation in Etobicoke overnight.

A better look at the damage from house fire on Beta St in Etobicoke. A classic car in driveway of a neighbouring home also damaged. Police confirm they were called for a reported arson in the basement of this same home on Oct 25. TO Fire took over investigation. @CityNews pic.twitter.com/6lvnGTTlnV

Fire crews responded to a call around 3 a.m. Wednesday at 226 Beta St. near Evans Avenue and Brown’s Line.

“Because of the intense heat, our crews went immediately into a defensive protective exposure attack,” District Chief Chris Rowland said.

“Looking after both homes on the side until we got enough manpower on-site to actually attack the fire.”

The houses on either side were evacuated as a precaution. The intense heat caused damage to the neighbouring homes but not enough to cause structural issues.

Rowland said crews managed to extinguish the fire from the outside. The adjacent homes were evacuated as a precaution and no injuries were reported.

Fire officials said flames at least 40-feet high broke through the roof and the south wall, causing the entire second floor to collapse.

Fire officials said they did remove an elderly woman from a home near the fire, but she didn’t sustain any injuries.

A man, who said lived behind the home and helped the owner with the renovations, told Global News the residence was under construction for the past three months.

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“I feel so sorry for the owner because he’s put such an amount of work and money into this build. It’s a really nice family,” Robert Sherlock said.

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“They were building their own family home. This was not a home they were building to sell. It was something he was investing in.”

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Sherlock claims the home, which was almost complete and was about to start drywalling, was the target of a minor fire last week.

We went through the effort of securing the building up much more securely, but obviously they must have broken in, to get in, and set the house on fire,” he said.

Both fires are considered as suspicious. Sherlock said he has spoken to the owner and the family plans to rebuild.

“Obviously he was devastated by it. So he came over right away and he was in my home and it was very, very distressing for him and his family,” he said.

“I spoke with the owner and he says he’s going to do whatever it takes to make it his family home. Nobody is going to burn him out of his home.”

2 Alarm residential fire on Beta Street north of Valermo Dr. House under construction. High flames through roof. Each home on either side evacuated. Roof & south wall collapsing. Most of the fire is knocked down. pic.twitter.com/37bOUv8IRS