A 20-year-old man is facing charges after a string of fires were set in Toronto’s Palmerston-Little Italy neighbourhood on Friday evening.

Police say several fires were set in an area bounded by Lennox Street, Harbord Street, Euclid Avenue and Bathurst Street.

The first fire broke out on the front porch of a two-apartment townhouse on Euclid Avenue.

Resident Cole Neophytou said a neighbour alerted them to the blaze, which had started to engulf the pillars of the porch.

“I peeked over my window and saw a big red glow coming from the side of the porch,” Neophytou

Neophytou, a videographer, grabbed his camera and started filming his escape from the home.

In the video, another resident can be seen dashing out of the house in a bathrobe screaming for someone to call 9-1-1 or to find a fire extinguisher.

Five residents, five cats and a dog were all able to escape safely.

Severalrecycling bins were also set on fire on Markham Street and in a nearby laneway. A garage was also torched, police said.

Police tell CTV News Toronto that a man then tried to enter a home in the Bathurst and Lennox area but was unsuccessful. A suspect was located a short distance away, allegedly trying to light a tarp on fire.

A suspect identified as Makoons Meawasige-Moore, of no fixed address, was charged Friday with six counts of arson with disregard for human life and six counts of arson causing property damage. 

None of the charges have been proven in court.

Residents of the Euclid Avenue townhouse, who were alerted to the blaze by a neighbour, said they have been asking their landlord “for months” to repair a broken smoke detector. They say it was finally replaced a day after the fire.

“I could smell plastic,” resident Lea MacLeod said. “I just started screaming… There was no fire alarm. It could’ve been much worse.”

In total, 19 firetrucks were dispatched to deal with the fires on Friday.