4 injured, 1 critically, after 5-alarm fire at north-end Toronto apartment building

A woman is in life-threatening condition and three others have been injured after a five-alarm apartment fire in Toronto‘s north end Thursday evening.

Emergency crews were called to the 14-storey apartment building on Bathurst Street, south of Steeles Avenue West, just before 8:25 p.m.

Officials said there were heavy flames on the east side of the building with smoke filling the building after crews arrived.

“Our crews are in for a long night. This is a significant fire,” Acting Fire Chief Jim Jessop told reporters Thursday night.

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“In these types of fires, we are fighting that fire from the inside, so our firefighters are literally walking into a chimney right now … they’re getting beat up.”

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Jessop said the injured woman had to be brought down a fire truck ladder from the fifth floor due to condition in the unit in order to get her to paramedics.

A spokesperson for Toronto Paramedics said the woman, who is believed to be in her 70s, was taken to a trauma centre in critical condition.

The nature of the second person’s injuries wasn’t clear as of Thursday night.

A fire captain was also being treated for smoke inhalation and a firefighter was being taken to hospital. A fifth person was assessed by paramedics, but they declined to go to a hospital.

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Most residents of the building were encouraged to shelter in place except for those on the fifth floor. If anyone in the building was having difficulty due to smoke, they were encouraged to call 911.

Jessop said the cause and origin of the fire, as well as the circumstances leading up to it, are under investigation.

More to come.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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