Toronto firefighters investigate fatal apartment fire

One person has died after a fire broke out in an apartment on the eastern edge of the city on Saturday morning.

Fire crews responded to a fire at an apartment building on Victoria Park Avenue near O’Connor Drive around 8:10 a.m.

Crews said the fire was in a unit on the eighth floor.

When crews arrived on scene, they encountered heavy smoke and had to force entry into the unit.

“Our crews did their main search very quickly and put out the fire, and unfortunately during the main search we discovered an occupant who was obviously deceased,” Toronto Deputy Fire Chief Jim Jessop said at the scene.

Fatal fire in Victoria Park

The identity of the victim has not been released, but neighbors told CP24 that a woman lived alone in the unit.

Authorities said the fire was quickly extinguished and no other units were affected.

Jessop noticed surrounding fire alarms going off to alert nearby residents.

A neighbor, who identified himself as Larry, lives three doors down from the affected unit and said he saw heavy smoke in the hallway as he evacuated the building.

“The alarm went off, he opened the door and then I saw smoke, so I went down the stairs because it’s right at the bottom,” he said. “Just because of the whiff of smoke it was bad.”

Jessop said the heavy smoke caused more damage to the unit than the actual fire.

“The smoke was significant, heavy smoke conditions that began to migrate through the building. So our crews did a great job of, you know, ventilating it and making sure it didn’t contaminate the rest of the building,” he said.

The Ontario Fire Marshal has been called to investigate the cause of the fire.

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