‘Extensive damages’ in Oxford Street house fire—again?

Two-alarm blaze hits vacant Kensington-area house early this morning, seemingly not for the first time

A Kensington Market house suffered about $400,000 in damages from a fire early this morning, according to fire officials, though it may not be the first time in recent history that flames have struck the building.

Firefighters were called to the fire at 16 Oxford St. at about 2:15 a.m.

When they arrived, firefighters found heavy smoke and fire coming from the back of the two-storey building and breaking through the roof, they reported.

It was considered a two-alarm fire, which means 10 to 13 emergency vehicles were dispatched to the scene.

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The house was vacant, so no residents were injured in the fire, despite “extensive damages,” said district fire chief Joe Bennett of Toronto Fire Services.

One firefighter was sent to hospital with minor injuries.

The fire was reported to be knocked down by about 4:30 a.m.

The building appears to be half of a formerly semi-detached house, and sits beside an empty lot.

Charred results of the fire are visible through the front windows of the house, as well as in the attic and on the roof of the side of the house facing the lot.

However, an image taken from Google Street View, with a capture date of May 2019, shows similar — though not identical — fire damage, especially on the upper part of the side of the house.

TFS officials could not say yet whether the same building had been hit by fire more than once, or whether the other half of the structure had been taken out by fire.

Investigators are on the scene, looking into the cause of the fire. Their report may indicate whether the building has been targeted repeatedly by fire, officials said.


This story has been revised from the original on Nov. 18 to include additional information from TFS.

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Posted: Nov 16 2020 2:08 pm

2 thoughts on “‘Extensive damages’ in Oxford Street house fire—again?

  • November 16, 2020 at 10:37 pm

    The buildings next to this house (10–14 Oxford St.) burned down five years ago due to arson (was on CP 24, the guy who set it on fire got caught) and damaged also 16 Oxford St. It has been empty since then and police have been at this property often due to illegal activities. The battle about insurance took a while and as far as I heard has been settled but the owners seem to have no interest in rebuilding. 10–14 Oxford have one owner who doesn’t seem to want to rebuild either but leaves the property as a garbage dump and keep it as an investment.
    The city should put the taxes up for those kind of properties to encourage to rebuild.
    Two blocks down on Spadina, three buildings burned down close to 10 years ago and are still empty lots today.
    Waiting for prices to climb even more.
    Looking not good, pictures more a war zone than Toronto. With all the garbage on these four lots, rats moved in and are spreading into Kensington Market and all the food outlets. More rats on the street at night than people — good to have a cat.

    • November 18, 2020 at 2:04 pm

      Thank you very much for your information and comments. We’ll look further into this.

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