Pair of homes burn in midtown

One fire allegedly set by occupant, other is under investigation

Toronto police have requested a psychiatric evaluation for a North Toronto man who allegedly tried to burn down his own house.

Police responded to a 911 call about a fire around 11 p.m. on May 2, near Eglinton Avenue East and Bayview Avenue. When they arrived at the Banff Road cul-de-sac, witnesses reported having seen the owner driving away while the house was still in flames.

David Young Scott, 41, was arrested in Owen Sound the next morning and charged with arson, mischief endangering life and common nuisance. Police now believe Scott to be emotionally disturbed, said Sergeant Dan Nealon of Toronto Police Service.

“It’s just a sad, sad situation,” said neighbour Mary Edwards, who lives four houses away.

Although she describes Scott, the only resident of the house, as a nice guy with lots of friends, his demeanour had changed in the weeks leading up to the incident, Edwards said.

“(Earlier) in the afternoon he had run up and started abusing the builders,” she said, referring to a group of men doing construction on a nearby house.

The night of the fire, Scott appeared in a daze according to Edwards.

“He wasn’t aware of what he was doing,” she said.

It was at least the second strange fire to hit midtown in the same week. On the afternoon of April 27, a fire on Blythwood Road, just west of Mount Pleasant left 88-year-old Michael Tibando in hospital with burns and claimed the life of his immobile wife, Violet
Tibando, 85, whom he had reportedly tried to save.

Toronto Fire Services said they believed the blaze, which gutted the house, started in the kitchen, although they could not confirm as the fire marshal was still investigating.

Neighbours said they had been shocked at the speed with which the flames had engulfed the house.

“It was a very, very rapid, almost explosive fire,” said Amanda Duffy, who lives across the street and was home at the time.

“Neighbours were shocked that they perhaps looked out of their windows or were walking by at 3:30, but four minutes later the house was fully engulfed in flames,” she said.

Duffy called Michael Tibando a neighbourhood fixture who had most often been seen walking his beloved dog on the street. The pet had recently died.

About this article:

By: Joshua Freeman
Posted: May 17 2010 1:55 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto