Four people are dead following a 3-alarm fire involving at least two houses in the Toronto’s east end Friday morning.
Shortly before 5 a.m., fire crews responded to a structure fire at a home at 95 Gainsborough Road, near Coxwell Avenue and Eastwood Road.
The second floor of the house was fully engulfed.
The fire jumped to one neighbouring home and houses on both sides of the initial fire were evacuated.
One occupant of the home was seen exiting through a window, Toronto Fire Services District Chief Stephan Powell told CP24.
Six occupants were removed from the home and four were pronounced deceased, Toronto Fire Services Deputy Chief Jim Jessop said from the scene.
The victims have not been identified.
Two people were sent to hospital with unknown conditions, Jessop said.
All victims were removed from the initial house fire.
A number of firefighters were also injured at the scene.
“Their injures are non-critical and non-life threatening. I have spoken to them and I expect them back to duty in the coming weeks,” Jessop said.
The cause of the fire is unknown and the Office of the Fire Marshal has been notified.
“This was a significant fire. The conditions that the women and men of Toronto Fire that entered that building and are still going and conducting primary and secondary searches now were extreme. The fire was venting out, it was free burning,” Jessop said.
The fire has since been knocked down.
Powell said the cold weather conditions made it difficult to put out the blaze.
“Cold weather is always an issue fighting fires. Water and some freezing temperatures make very slippery working conditions. Wind, it was quite windy this morning, helps to fuel fire. So the conditions are quite tough for our firefighters,” he said.
Toronto Fire Services Chief Matthew Pegg tweeted his condolences “to family, friends and all those impacted by the tragic fatal fire.”
A TTC bus is at the scene to provide shelter for community members.