Helen Guo identified as woman killed in Scarborough house fire
The 18-year-old came from China to study at University of Toronto's Scarborough campus
The international student killed in a Scarborough rooming house fire on Wednesday has been identified by close friends as Helen Guo.
Guo, 18, came from China to study at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC.)
"She was really friendly," remembered Vivian Meng, who met Guo at Green Path, a 12-week University of Toronto program that helps undergraduate students from China adjust to academic life in Canada.
Guo and Meng spent last summer travelling together before the fall semester started, and spent a month visiting Canadian cities.
"Every morning [on the trip] she'd cook us breakfast," Meng remembered.
3 other occupants escaped
Calls came into emergency crews at around 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning about a fire at a house on Haida Court near Ellesmere Road and Military Trail.
The other three occupants, who are also U of T students, managed to escape, one by jumping out of a second story window.
Neighbour Loick Masunda, also a student, raced to the house when he saw the smoke on Wednesday morning and pulled a woman from the burning house.
Masunda said it was "heartbreaking" to learn that Guo was still inside while he was rescuing another occupant. "My heart goes out to her family," he said.
The university is offering support to students affected by the incident and shared condolences for the victim's family.
"This is a terrible tragedy," said Bruce Kidd, vice president and principal of UTSC, in a statement.
"The thoughts of the entire campus community are with the family of the student who was killed in the fire and with the three other students who were in the house," he said.