Heroic U of T student heartbroken after classmate killed in Scarborough house fire
18-year-old international student from China killed, 3 others injured
When Loick Masunda's girlfriend saw smoke billowing from a Scarborough home Wednesday morning, the University of Toronto student leapt into action to help.
It was about 2:30 a.m. when Masunda raced over to the nearby home on Haida Court, near Ellesmere Road and Military Trail, where flames and smoke were pouring out of the back of the property. Two men rushed outside screaming for help, saying a woman was trapped inside.
"She was burnt, she was in pain, shocked," Masunda said. "I tried to calm her down and brought her to the paramedics."
Unbeknownst to him at the time, another woman was trapped upstairs.
This is a deep tragedy and we need to know what happened.- Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg
Paramedics took one woman in her 20s with serious injuries to a burn unit at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.
The University of Toronto is mourning the death of a student who died in a house fire near our campus. Four UTSC students were in the house at the time of the fire, which occurred in the early morning of Wednesday, May 30th. An 18 year old student was killed in the fire. /1—@UTSC
But while he managed to rescue one person, Masunda says he wishes he could have done more.
"It's really heartbreaking, and my heart goes out to her family," he said, adding that he'd never been inside the home before and didn't know the layout. "It's really sad."
Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg said the smoke and flames were so intense that fire crews were not able to enter the home safely.
"This is a deep tragedy and we need to know what happened," Pegg said Wednesday morning at the scene.
Investigators are still working to determine what caused the blaze at the home and whether working smoke alarms were present. Ontario's Office of the Fire Marshal and Toronto police have also been notified.
Pegg said investigators will be conducting an external scan of the scene before the work begins inside the home. "The building is somewhat structurally unsafe at this point. We have to investigate the safety aspect of the building," he said.
On behalf of <a href="https://twitter.com/Toronto_Fire?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Toronto_Fire</a>, I extend my sincere condolences to family, friends and all those affected by this morning’s fatal fire on Haida Court. I will attend the scene personally this morning.—@ChiefPeggTFS
"All we know is that there were four students living in the house or in the house at 2:30 in the morning when the fire started," Toronto Fire Services Deputy Chief Jim Jessop told reporters.
Fire - 3 people transported to hospital from 2 alarm fire. Haida Ct (Military Trl / Ellesmere). One person jumped from a window. Two others w/ smoke inhalation. <a href="https://twitter.com/Toronto_Fire?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Toronto_Fire</a> reported flames on all 3 levels. <a href="https://t.co/aEGQu2wy1D">pic.twitter.com/aEGQu2wy1D</a>—@LateNightCam
"We do not know the status of this specific building at this time."
The University of Toronto says it has contacted the students affected to support them and their family members, and any other members of the campus community who may be affected.