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Arson probe in Toronto fire


May 18, 2008
By John Riddell

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                                                                   Photo by John Riddell
Fire officials are investigating after a blaze at a townhouse
complex in Toronto Saturday afternoon.
May 18, 2008, Toronto - Toronto fire crews responded Saturday afternoon to reports of a three-storey townhouse fire in the northeast side of the city. As trucks were en route, Toronto Fire Services communications advised of numerous calls advising of heavy black smoke and fire visible with a possibility of residents still inside.


A second alarm was upgraded from the original working fire response by the district chief before arriving and a full complement of trucks was dispatched.

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                                                                                      Photo by John Riddell

Upon arrival, crews found two units fully involved and a third alarm was requested to help bring the fire under control.

"This was a hot, intense fire that was a bit of work to bring under control," said Deputy Chief Frank Lamie.

 

With more than 85 firefighters and 22 vehicles on scene, crews were able to gain control after approximately two hours of arriving at the scene.

 

Lamie confirmed the discovery of one body inside, however the Ontario Fire Marshal's office closed down the scene due to unsafe working conditions with unstable flooring due to the damage and the possibility of asbestos within the dwelling.

Toronto Police homicide detectives are monitoring the scene and circumstances due to the death and reports of a strong smell of gasoline inside the dwelling when firefighters arrived.

Damage estimates are not yet known. The cause is under investigation.