Some residents were allowed back to their homes on Wednesday to survey the damage caused by a massive fire that tore through an east-end neighbourhood.

“It’s just like a bad dream to me,” Gulami Emran told CTV Toronto. “What I can think now is that I won’t be able to move into my house for another six months.”

Following the suspicious blaze on Byng Avenue, several neighbours reported finding gasoline doused on their properties.

“It was like someone was trying to burn the whole neighbourhood down,” said Chris Campbell. “There’s gas all over my truck, there’s gas in the backyard and on the shed of my neighbour’s house. There’s gasoline everywhere.”

A man was questioned by police shortly following the fire and arrested later on Tuesday.

Thomas Nicholson, who lives in a rooming house directly behind the scene of the fire, was charged with breaking into his neighbours’ homes and stealing knapsack and a wallet.

He appeared in court on Wednesday and he is scheduled for a bail hearing on Thursday.

Nicholson’s lawyer said his client is not a person of interest in the arson investigation at this point in time.

Investigators said samples collected from the scene of the fire were taken to Toronto’s Centre of Forensic Sciences and the results could take six to eight weeks.

With a report from CTV Toronto’s Austin Delaney