Crews fight major apartment building fire in Toronto, six people rescued – National Post

Crews fight major apartment building fire in Toronto, six people rescued - National Post
5-alarm fire at North York high rise sends 1 person hospital
A five-alarm blaze at a North York apartment has sent one person to hospital but left an unknown number of residents displaced.

Fire crews were called to the apartment complex on Gosford Boulevard near Jane Street and Steeles Avenue West at around 5:30 p.m.

"Some of the local residents are upset just at the fact that theyre out of their homes, and theyd like to get back in their home," the mayor said. "So that Ive explained to them that obviously theyll be allowed back in their homes as soon as the chief and others decide that its safe."

When firefighters arrived, smoke and flames could be seen billowing out from several units on the 7th, 8th and 9th floors of the 15 storey building.

"Thats the reason why weve accelerated to a fourth, and now fifth alarm is that the number of resources we require on scene to safely and effectively deal with a fire of this magnitude in a building this big when all of the elevator systems are out."

“I heard some screaming, I smelled some smoke and I looked out my balcony and two floors above me there was fire just billowing out from the balcony,” said resident Felix Gomez, who sought shelter with his dogs in his car while firefighters fought the blaze.

"Our crews have successfully located, rescued and removed a number of patients. They are now in the care of Toronto Paramedic Services," he said.

“I’m a little shook up but I’m not complaining because, like I said, I just feel bad for the families who probably lost everything in their apartment and they have nowhere to stay tonight. I’m lucky enough that I don’t think my unit got any damage.”

Mayor John Tory, who met with the residents, said he is satisfied by the remarkable work of the first responders to ensure all residents were safe.

Fire crews say six people had to be rescued from the building and one of them was transported to hospital in serious but stable condition.

Firefighters have to climb floors physically because the elevators stopped working, Pegg said. Crews were fighting the blaze from the inside.

Four hours after firefighters arrived, the inferno was declared under control. At the height of the blaze up to 22 fire trucks and 100 firefighters were on the scene.

Pegg said six people were transferred to paramedics. One person was transported to a hospital in serious condition, Toronto paramedics said.

“We have crews inside the building, moving floor-to-floor and suite-to-suite doing checks on anyone still inside the building making sure that we identify anyone that may need assistance, said Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg.

"By the time everyone got ready, we couldnt exit because you open the door, and it was pitch-black. You couldnt see anything."

The Office of Emergency Management was called in to help with a number of residents left displaced by the blaze and the Driftwood Community Centre opened its doors to provide temporary shelter for some of those forced out of their homes.

The fire broke out on the 7th floor of the building before spreading to multiple floors, Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg told reporters.

“We won’t know for some time, specifically, how many people will be displaced as a result of the fire,” said Pegg. “There appears to be significant damage on seven, eight and nine and some other floors. Best case scenario, if we end up being able to keep floors one through six operational, that would be fantastic.”

It was not yet clear what the caused the blaze or in what unit it started. The Office of the Fire Marshal has been called in to investigate.

Pegg said they still have a lot of work to do. At the height of the blaze, 22 fire trucks and about 100 personnel were on the scene.

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"We have about a second alarm assignment here, and I suspect thats what well be here for the next little bit," he said.

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Crews were called to a 15-storey building on Gosford Boulevard, just north of Jane Street and Shoreham Drive just before 5:30 p.m.

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A stubborn fire rages at a high rise building Jane Street and Shoreham Drive in North York Friday November 15, 2019. (CP24)

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TORONTO — Six people had to be rescued from a burning building in North York after a fire broke out Friday night.

A stubborn fire rages at a high rise building Jane Street and Shoreham Drive in North York Friday November 15, 2019. (CP24)

Fire crews were called to the apartment building on Gosford Boulevard, near Jane Street and Steeles Avenue West, just after 5:30 p.m.

Flames are visible at a high rise building Jane Street and Shoreham Drive in North York Friday November 15, 2019. (CP24)

Video footage of the scene showed visible flames and thick black smoke billowing from the 15-storey apartment building.

The five-alarm blaze that broke out at a North York highrise and sent one person to a hospital is now under control.

Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg said that the fire began on the seventh floor of the building, but quickly spread to multiple floors. At the height of the five-alarm blaze, 22 fire trucks and about 100 personnel were on scene.

Pegg said they will do everything in their ability to get as many people back into their units as soon as possible.

"We have a total of six patients that crews have rescued and removed to the outside, transferred to the care of Toronto paramedics," Pegg told reporters at the scene. "Five of those patients have been assessed on scene and do not require transport to the hospital."

Karikari said he was worried about his father, who was not in his best shape. Paramedics later assessed his father.

When our first crews arrived, there were heavy flames and smoke venting from one of the windows of the suites," Pegg said. "That escalated very quickly.

The fire chief called the fire complicated. Firefighters have had to physically climb floors as elevators inside the building are not working.

"It was a relief when I saw them," Karikari said. "In that situation, all you have is hope."

(Crews) are exhausted. They are having to manually move up and down the 15 flights, they are soaking wet and of course its really cold tonight. These are difficult circumstances for the crews tonight.

"We couldnt get down because all the stairs have smoke, and the elevators were blocked," she said.

About four hours after crews were called to Gosford Boulevard, Toronto Fire Services said the fire was under control.

Michael Karikari, who lives on the eigth floor, said they were trapped in their unit as the fire spread.

Chester Yim told CTV News Toronto that he had just pulled into the underground parking lot when he heard the fire alarm. He said he thought it was a false alarm until his wife called him from their 12th floor apartment unit to say there was smoke in their apartment.

At some point, Manfriniv said she heard people shouting they could not breathe because of the smoke.

When Yim went around to the back of the building, he saw the flames. He also saw his wife on the balcony with their two young children.

At that moment, I just decided to run up the stairwell to get them down, he said. Going up the stairs you can actually see the ashes coming from the seventh floor in the stairwell.

Another building resident said she was on her ninth floor unit when she heard the alarm ring out. She said she saw smoke and ran towards the stairs.

We couldnt get down because all the stairs have smoke and the elevators were blocked, Giovanna Manfriniv said.

Manfriniv said that she heard people shouting that they couldnt breathe because of the smoke Eventually firefighters advised her to stay in her unit and wait on her balcony until it was safe to evacuate.

The nearby Driftwood Community Recreation Centre has been opened in order to provide shelter to any residents who may have had to evacuate the building, Pegg said.

We wont know for some time, specifically how many people will be displaced because of the fire, but we are preparing for that proactively.

Speaking at the scene late Friday night, Toronto Mayor John Tory said that he has spoken to evacuated residents and have told them they will be looked after.

Ive explained that they will be allowed back in their homes as soon as the chief and everyone decides its safe, he said. I know that even when I talk to them that comes as a mild comfort to them because they are upset about not being able to get back into their home.

Pegg said that investigative teams are on scene looking into the cause of the fire. The Ontario Fire Marshall has been notified of the incident.

The fire is under control and investigation/damage assessments will be underway. An emergency shelter is being set up at the Driftwood Community Centre at 4401 Jane Street for any displaced residents. @Toronto_Fire @TorontoOEM

Six people had to be rescued from a burning building in North York after a fire broke out Friday night.