Toronto highrise fire seriously injures 2

An elevator fire at an east Toronto highrise has left two people with serious burns.

2 hurt in apartment fire

10 years ago
Duration 2:00
An elevator fire breaks out at east end highrise

An elevator fire at an east Toronto highrise has left two people with serious burns.

Emergency Medical Services said both people were transported to Sunnybrook Hospital from the apartment building at 500 Dawes Road. One of them has life-threatening injuries, CBC reporter Charlsie Agro said from the scene north of the Danforth.

The fire, which was called in just before 2 p.m. ET, was out by late afternoon. Hundreds of residents were forced to evacuate the building, but have since been allowed to return.

A total of four people were taken to hospital, Agro said, and seven people were treated for smoke inhalation.

Officials closed Dawes Road between Beth and Gower streets, though it was re-opened later in the day.

Most of the damage was contained to the elevator shaft, but black smoke spread throughout the building.

"With elevator shafts, the smoke naturally travelled the whole building — every floor," said Lorne Buckingham, a division commander with the Toronto fire department. 

Paris Vanvogt said she had a chat with two men, including one who was holding what she thought was a welding tool. The two men walked into an elevator and, moments later, she heard a boom. The men stumbled out, and she saw one with his skin "coming off," she said.

Fire officials did not confirm that account and the Ontario Office of the Fire Marshal will investigate.

Beaches-East York Coun. Janet Davis said the building has been on her radar for years, with more than 100 complaints filed to the city, many about bed bugs, cockroaches and broken doors