Toronto

Residents in 5 west end homes pushed out by 4-alarm fire

Toronto Fire crews remained at the scene Thursday morning of a west-end fire that caused significant damage to at least three homes and destroyed two.

Blaze broke out late Wednesday afternoon, but firefighters were still on scene Thursday morning

Homes damaged by a four-alarm blaze on Argyle Street are seen Thursday morning. (Paul Borkwood/CBC)

People staying in five homes will not be returning to their residences any time soon on Argyle Street in Toronto's west end after a four alarm fire caused significant damage Wednesday afternoon.

Investigators with the fire marshal's office were on the scene Thursday morning, trying to find the cause of the fire in the Dundas and Ossington area. Firefighters suspect that two of the damaged homes may have to be torn down.

No residents were injured in the fire, but one firefighter had to be treated for heat exhaustion.

A long road ahead for residents

Greg Bettencourt and his wife Gabriela Pimentel live in one of the homes that was damaged by the rapidly moving fire. The couple were not home at the time.

"At the back, there's quite extensive fire damage, at the deck, third floor level, back rooms, and the rest of the house," says Bettencourt. "Its quite damaged with the water falling through for the purpose of fighting the fire." 

Bettencourt and Pimentel suspect it will take anywhere from four to five months for them to move back into their home. But they also feel for neighbours who are facing even more serious damage to their homes. 

"Some of them are even worse," said Pimentel. "I know it's devastating." 

Firefighters stayed through the night

The fire broke out shortly after 5 p.m. Wednesday evening and grew to a four-alarm blaze. It was quickly contained, but firefighters remained at the scene overnight and were still attacking hotspots Thursday morning.

"We scaled it back substantially just after midnight, but we had several trucks remain overnight," Deputy Fire Chief Stephan Powell told CBC Toronto Thursday morning.

"We still found smouldering spots at 1 [a.m.], but not open flame, just steam and heat from certain areas and we had to apply more water."

House fire near Ossington and Dundas

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Toronto firefighters attempts to put fire out at home near Ossington and Dundas. 0:37

On Wednesday evening, Powell said investigators with the fire marshal's office also expected to stay at the scene overnight.

The fire marshal's office is investigating Wednesday's blaze. (Gayle Brown)

Video and images from the scene showed thick black smoke and tall flames shooting out of several homes, many of which were evacuated. 

Argyle Road between Dovercourt Road and Ossington Ave remains closed.

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