Toronto

Fire destroys house under construction, prompts evacuation of 2 homes

An early morning fire has destroyed a house under construction in south Etobicoke on Wednesday and prompted firefighters to evacuate homes on either side.

Firefighters were called to the home last week for report of alleged arson

Two Toronto firefighters spray water on a fire in a house under construction in Etobicoke early Wednesday. No one was injured in the blaze. (Tony Smyth/CBC)

An early morning fire has destroyed a house under construction in south Etobicoke on Wednesday, but no one was injured in the blaze.

A week ago, Toronto police said they were called to the same address for a report of an alleged arson.

The residential fire on Beta Street, near Evans Avenue and Brown's Line, prompted Toronto firefighters to evacuate homes on either side as a precaution. Flames could be seen from kilometres away.

Firefighters rescued an elderly woman in one neighbouring home and paramedics sheltered her in an emergency vehicle until relatives were able to pick her up, according to Steve Henderson, spokesperson for Toronto Paramedic Services.

Flames were shooting through the roof of the house under construction when firefighters arrived on the scene and the house was engulfed in flames. Crews were called to the fire at about 3:20 a.m.

The early morning fire destroyed the house under construction. (Tony Smyth/CBC)

Capt. Michael Westwood, spokesperson for Toronto Fire Services, said the fire gutted most of the structure. An estimate of the damage was not available. The homes on either side were slightly damaged.

"The roof, walls collapsed, the floor is unsafe. Fire investigators will be on scene later this morning to start their investigation," he told CBC Toronto.

'Fire was quite intense'

Westwood said the fire was brought under control by 5:30 a.m. Twelve fire trucks and 45 firefighters responded to the call.

"The fire was quite intense," he said. "There was a big ball of fire."

The cause and where the fire originated are currently being investigated, but fire officials have not deemed the blaze to be suspicious, he said.

"They look at every type of possibility. That's up to the investigators to determine," Westwood said.

Crews are still on the scene, putting out hot spots.

On Oct. 25, Const. Allyson Douglas-Cook said police were called to the home by the homeowner and officers confirmed they found evidence of a small fire in the basement.

Toronto Fire has taken over the investigation into that case, she said.

"According to the police report, there were scorch marks in the basement," he said.

The home has been under renovations for the last year and a half, she added. "We know that much," she said.

Douglas-Cook said fire investigators are looking into whether the fire is suspicious.

Twelve fire trucks and 45 firefighters responded to this blaze in south Etobicoke. (Tony Smyth/CBC)

now