An elderly woman has died today after a two-alarm fire in a five-storey condominium building at 955 Millwood Rd. at Southvale Drive in Leaside.
Firefighters responded to a call from an alarm company shortly before 1 a.m. and found fire and thick black smoke coming from a first-floor unit of the building, District Chief Stephan Powell said.
A woman was pulled from an apartment and the fire, confined to the unit, was knocked down quickly, Powell said.
Paramedics performed emergency measures on the woman, described as in her 80s, and she was rushed to hospital in life-threatening condition, but she was later declared dead.
The building was evacuated and Millwood Road was shut down by police between Southvale and Randolph Road.
Fought through smoke and heat
Twenty-nine firefighting units were dispatched to the site, Toronto Fire Services reported.
“Upon arrival our crews were met with heavy smoke and a working fire in one of the units on the first floor,” acting fire chief Jim Jessop said in a press conference at the building at 11 a.m. today. “First responding crews fought their way through the smoke and the heat to perform their primary search.”
They rescued on one occupant of the unit who was taken by paramedics to hospital “where unfortunately the occupant was recently pronounced deceased,” he said.
The identity of the deceased and information about the cause of the fire have not been released yet.
An investigation has begun by fire, police and the Ontario fire marshall’s office to uncover the fire’s origins, Jessop said.
Jessop extended condolences on behalf of Toronto Fires Services to those affected by the fire and he commended the work of emergency responders.
“These fires have a significant toll on not only the occupants, friends and family of the building, but also the first responders that were called,” he said. “All three emergency services last night performed admirably … and did their absolute best, with the hope of a better outcome.”
Toronto fire chief Matthew Pegg expressed condolences on social media.
I extend my sincere condolences to family, friends and all those impacted by the overnight fatal fire on Millwood. The investigation into the origin, cause and circumstances of this tragic fire is underway by @Toronto_Fire @ONFireMarshal and @TorontoPolice
— Matthew Pegg (@ChiefPeggTFS) September 29, 2021
Mayor John Tory and local city councillor Jaye Robinson also expressed condolences on social media to the family and loved ones of the woman who died in the tragic fire.
This story has been updated with photos and with comments from acting chief Jessop since its first publication.