A couple is in serious, but stable, condition in hospital after a dramatic rescue from a three-alarm house fire near York Mills Road and Bayview Avenue in Toronto overnight.
'We had a bit of a scramble finding our own guys up there.' —Tony Bellavance, platoon chief, Toronto Fire Services
Two firefighters worked to help in the escape of the husband and wife from the house at 174 Gordon Rd. just after 1:30 a.m. ET Thursday. It is believed the fire started in the sunroom at the rear of the large house.
Both firefighters were also treated for minor injuries in hospital.
A man who lives at the house ran downstairs to investigate the fire.
Shortly after, a 911 call was placed by a woman who told operators she was trapped in an upstairs room.
The woman was able to stay on the phone with 911 operators, even though the room was full of smoke and she was struggling to breathe.
Crews arrived and found a man collapsed on the front lawn with burns to his upper body.
The woman who placed the 911 call was trapped upstairs while the back of the house was fully engulfed in flames. Neighbours reported seeing flames shooting through the roof.
Firefighters eventually got the woman out of the house, guiding her out through a back window using a ladder. Toronto Fire Services credits the woman with providing them with exact information about her whereabouts in the house, which made finding and rescuing her much easier.
"She was able to describe, very accurately, her position inside the home," reported the CBC's Trevor Dunn from the scene on Thursday morning. "She didn’t know where her husband was."
The rescue became more dramatic when firefighters involved in the search got separated from the rest of the crew and issued a mayday call.
"We had a bit of a scramble finding our own guys up there," Toronto Fire platoon chief Tony Bellavance told CBC News. "It all happened within a very short period of time."
One firefighter escaped out a window and the other left through the front door. Both collapsed on the lawn and were taken to Sunnybrook hospital. They were not seriously hurt.
The condition of the couple who lived in the home is not known. CBC News is expecting an update on their condition later this morning.
The home did have working smoke alarms.
The Ontario Fire Marshal is investigating.