11 people rescued as East Chinatown blaze destroys building
Published Saturday, July 13, 2013 7:08AM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, July 13, 2013 6:38PM EDT
A 100-year-old building has been destroyed and several of its tenants were left homeless after a quick-spreading fire broke out in East Chinatown early Saturday.
Fire crews were called to the property, located on Broadview Avenue near Gerrard St. East, around 5 a.m. and arrived to find the building engulfed in flames and 11 people trapped inside.
As flames shot up the side of the building, firefighters used a fire escape to rescue the trapped people, ushering them to safety.
Fire officials say no civilians suffered injuries, but one firefighter fell, likely suffering some broken ribs. Another was treated for heat exhaustion.
Though 75 firefighters battled the blaze for hours, the corner building could not be saved.
At one point, a wall and then the building’s roof collapsed.
A man in a neighbouring building who didn’t want to be identified said he woke up to the sound of crackling wood, but no alarms.
Police shut down part of Broadview Avenue as firefighters worked on the wreckage, putting out hotspots.
Triny Huynh, owner of a neighbouring gift shop, told CTV News even though her store may have been destroyed, it could have been worse.
“I know all of the people came out of the building – I’m happy,” she said. “After that, I feel OK.”
Toronto Fire has estimated approximately $2 million in damage to the corner building, but that figure does not currently include damage to neighbouring structures.
The cause of the fire is still unknown. The Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating.
The intersection where the building is located will likely remain closed until Monday.
The TTC said the 504 King, 505 Dundas and 506 Carlton streetcars are currently diverting.
With a report from CTV Toronto’s Tamara Cherry