Fire rips through historic mansion

Billows of thick black smoke wafted through the air near Bayview and Lawrence Avenues as firefighters battled a large blaze that engulfed a heritage mansion Oct. 30.

Bystanders piled onto the street just before sunset to watch as nearly 100 firefighters worked to extinguish the flames at 3 Chedington Pl.

Emergency services got the call around 4 p.m. It took about five hours to put out the fire. One firefighter was sent to hospital with minor injuries but was later released.

Toronto Fire Captain David Eckerman said the building was a former residence being used as an office. It was unoccupied at the time of the blaze, he said.

Officials are pegging the damage at $2 million.

“A large portion of the roof is burnt away and some of the top floor,” Eckerman said. “There’s water and smoke damage throughout the entire structure.”

The building’s slate roof created difficulties for the firefighters.

“We had a hard time getting the water streams at the seed of the fire that was burning in the attic,” Eckerman said. “Once they found (the fire) in the walls, they knew it was big.”

Though the fire is under investigation, arson is being ruled out.

“We found no indications of it,” Eckerman said.

No one was injured but residents in the area were forced from their homes for safety reasons.

Marilyn Hull, a resident of Lewes Crescent, said her mother-in-law Peggy Hull lives is in a condo building next to house. The 78-year old, whose bedroom window faces the fire, was instructed to wait downstairs with her neighbours.

The mansion is listed as a heritage home with the city’s preservation board. It was built in 1928.

According to Hull, the building is known as The Chedington and was undergoing major changes.

“I was informed that they are turning the existing building into three separate condominium units,” Hull said. “The owner moved out.”

“It was a charming building,” said Nancy Browne, another area resident who watched the blaze. “It’s a shame. It looks totally gone.”

About this article:

By: Jordana Stier
Posted: Nov 6 2009 5:57 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto