Toronto Community Housing charged after deadly fire at seniors' building

One charge has been laid against Toronto Community Housing in the wake of a fire at a Scarborough seniors' apartment building earlier this month that left three people dead.

3 killed, 15 injured by fire at Scaborough building on Feb. 5

Firefighters battled thick smoke but couldn't save three people after a major fire at a Toronto Community Housing building on Feb. 5. (CBC)

One charge has been laid against Toronto Community Housing in the wake of a fire at a Scarborough seniors' apartment building earlier this month that left three people dead.

After investigating, Toronto Fire Services said the fatal fire was caused in part by some furniture in a hallway that burst into flames around 3 p.m. on Feb. 5. The blaze forced many to flee the building and left 15 people injured.

Toronto Community Housing, which runs the building, has been charged with having combustible material in a means of egress, a violation of the Ontario Fire Code that comes with a maximum fine of $100,000, a source confirmed to CBC News.

Firefighters are set to announce the charge and provide more information at a Wednesday news conference. 

In the wake of the fire, Deputy Fire Chief Jim Jessop also said the building — which isn't a seniors home but instead an apartment building predominantly occupied by older tenants — lacked a modern sprinkler system that could have prevented the deaths.

"If sprinklers had been installed to today's standard the outcome would have been different," he said.

Jessop says sprinklers in every room and hallway are not legally required in the building because it was built to code prior to 2007, when the law changed.

The building had been last inspected in 2013. 


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