A fire in an east-end home has killed four people and sent two others to hospital early this morning.
Firefighters were called shortly after 4:30 a.m. to the three-alarm blaze at 95 Gainsborough Rd., a two-storey house in the Beach Hill area near Coxwell Avenue and Eastwood Road.
They found the top floor of the home fully engulfed in flames and high winds causing the fire to jump to another house, said Stephan Powell, district chief for Toronto Fire Services.
Flames could also be seen on the roofs of 93 and 91 Gainsborough Rd., observers said on social media.
One resident managed to escape from a second-storey window at 95 Gainsborough, Powell said.
Early reports from police and Fire Services indicated five people were removed from the fire without indicating any fatalities.
On scene of a serious fire on Gainesborough. 5 people have been removed from the house, and crews continue to search the property. pic.twitter.com/9l4O5VSWe5
— Toronto Fire Service (@Toronto_Fire) January 29, 2021
Acting fire chief Jim Jessop told media at the scene about 7:30 a.m. that four people were dead and two others were in hospital in this “really tragic day.”
The deceased were pulled from the house, with some pronounced dead immediately and others later in hospital, he said.
People were evacuated from neighbouring homes into outdoor temperatures as low as -20C.
Firefighters were also injured during the operation, Jessop said and at least one was reported to have fallen through a floor.
“The good news is the firefighters have all been treated,” Jessop said. “They’re not significant injuries.”
Just met with our @Toronto_Fire command team and many of our dedicated frontline staff working on Gainsborough Road. This is an unspeakable tragedy that impacts us all very deeply. Thankful that our injured FF’s have been released and wish them a full and speedy recovery. @TPFFA
— Matthew Pegg (@ChiefPeggTFS) January 29, 2021
Ontario’s Office of the Fire Marshal is helping investigate the cause of the blaze.
Up to 17 emergency vehicles and 45 units were dispatched to the site, according to fire services.
Gainsborough Road was blocked by police between Gerrard Street East and Eastwood Road. Eastwood, east of Coxwell, was also closed to traffic to accommodate the emergency vehicles and firehoses.
The closures were still in effect at 11 a.m. At that time, firefighters were still working to keep the fire from erupting again in the house’s top floor.
The top half of 95 Gainsborough appeared entirely blackened and part of the attic roof at 93 Gainsborough was missing.