Firefighter seriously injured after falling off roof during Dupont Street fire

A Toronto firefighter who fell off a roof is among eight people injured due to a fire in a semi-detached house on Dupont Street early Sunday.

Another firefighter, 3 residents also taken to hospital, 3 treated at the scene; 8 injured in all

A Toronto firefighter who fell off a roof is among eight people injured in a fire in a semi-detached house on Dupont Street early Sunday. ( James Morrison-Collalto/CBC)

A Toronto firefighter was seriously injured when he fell off a roof while fighting a fire in a semi-detached house on Dupont Street early Sunday.

The firefighter, a man in his 30s, was taken to a trauma centre, according to Toronto Fire Services and Toronto Paramedic Services. He fell more than five metres from a second storey roof, but is said to be in stable condition with non-life threatening injuries.

Stephan Powell, district chief for Toronto Fire Services, said six area residents suffered smoke inhalation due to the blaze on Dupont Street, just west of Christie Street. Three in serious condition were taken to a local hospital, while three in less serious condition were treated at the scene.

Powell said the firefighter who sustained serious injury fell onto another firefighter and the second firefighter was taken to hospital with minor injuries. The total number of injured is eight, he added.
A Toronto firefighter holds a mother cat rescued from Dupont Street during the fire. Crews also rescued her kittens. (James Morrison Collalto/CBC )

Firefighters were first alerted to the blaze when they received a call at 6:06 a.m. 

Crews found the semi-detached house fully engulfed in flames when they arrived and they encountered heavy smoke. Residents were already out of the house.

Firefighters did a search of the premises to ensure nobody was still inside. The fire melted the blinds and broke a window of the other half of the semi-detached house, Powell said.

Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg told reporters at the scene that the fire was extinguished by 9:30 a.m.

Investigators and Ontario's Office of the Fire Marshal were still at the house at 1:30 p.m., trying to determine how the fire started.

"This is obviously a very complicated fire scene," Pegg said. 
A Toronto police officer walks near the scene of an early morning house that sent eight people to hospital with injuries on Sunday. (James Morrison-Collalto/CBC )

The firefighter who fell is recovering, he said.

"I just received really good news from the hospital. As you know, we had one of our firefighters who was part of an attack team inadvertently fell off a second storey roof. There's no indication that there was any significant trauma," Pegg added.

"He's conscious, alert, talking and it sounds like he was very fortunate."

Pegg said the serious injuries sustained by one of the firefighters is a reminder of the hazards and risks they face every time they fight fires.

"We expect our people to put themselves in harm's way to save another life in the performance of their duties. Today is an example of how dangerous that job can be," he said. "I'm really happy to hear that everything is okay."

More than 50 firefighters were involved in bringing the blaze under control. It was considered a three-alarm fire. One alarm means a district chief, two pumper trucks, an aerial truck and 16 to 20 personnel respond.

Mother cat, kittens rescued

The firefighters also rescued a mother cat and some kittens while they fought the fire.

Pegg said the fire itself is a reminder that Toronto residents need to have working smoke alarms and home escape plans and they need to test the alarms and practise the plans regularly.

He said the fire department was told that everyone who was displaced by the blaze has found safe places to go until they are able to return home.

Ontario's Office of the Fire Marshal will help with the investigation into the cause and circumstances of the fire. 

It appears part of the house was under renovation, Pegg added.

Toronto police, who had closed Dupont in both directions for hours, have opened  one lane eastbound and one lane westbound between Christie and Shaw Streets.