Toronto

Van crashes into east-end Toronto home before catching fire

One man is in custody after allegedly fleeing a van that crashed into an east-end Toronto home and burst into flames early this morning.

Fire official estimates damages to be $200,000 to $300,000

No injuries were reported among residents or firefighters after an early morning fire forced families to flee a multi-unit house in Scarborough. (Tony Smyth/CBC)

One man is in custody after allegedly fleeing a van that crashed into an east-end Toronto home and burst into flames early this morning. 

At around 3:30 a.m. Friday, a full-sized van left the roadway and crashed into a multi-unit home near Ellesmere and Kennedy roads in Scarborough. Shortly afterwards, the van caught fire and flames advanced into the house. 

No injuries were reported among residents or firefighters, but multiple families were forced to leave their home and a shelter bus had to be called in. 

"It was a big bang — the whole house shook upstairs," said Michael Kardaris, who rents the house with his family. He explained how the front area of the property started to catch fire.

"The whole roof lit up," he said. "It was a big fire."

One neighbour told CBC News the flames were about six feet high.

Roof 'severely damaged'

"The damage is pretty extensive inside," said district chief Joe Bennett with Toronto Fire Services.

"There's a lot of water damage ... a lot of the roof had to removed."

Bennett said the residence is not inhabitable at this time and those living there will not be able to return any time soon. 

"The roof is severely damaged, it's wide open."

The district chief said his first estimate of damages would be in the $200,000 to $300,000 range. 

"Most of the fire damage was in the exterior and the attic."

A Toronto fire official says the east-end residence is not inhabitable at this time and those living there will not be able to return immediately. (Tony Smyth/CBC)
​Bennett noted that one person did leave the scene and is in hospital.

Const. Victor Kwong with Toronto police confirmed that person who was being treated was the driver of the van. 

Kwong said the male driver took off running after the crash, which may have involved a stolen vehicle. Police dispatched their canine unit, which was successful in tracking the man, according to Kwong.

A man in his mid-20s is in custody, Kwong said. 

Dundalk Drive is expected to be closed for several hours Friday morning. 

With files from Tony Smyth

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