Woman dies after being pulled from Etobicoke house fire
Published Tuesday, April 21, 2020 8:55PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, April 21, 2020 10:57PM EDT
An elderly woman has died of her injuries after being pulled from a burning home in Etobicoke Tuesday night.
Crews were called to 371 Rathburn Road, near The East Mall, at around 8:11 p.m. after receiving reports of flames coming from the home’s basement.
“Upon arrival at 8:16, they found the residence on fire, with a lot of flame and heavy smoke coming from the basement area,” Acting Fire Chief Jim Kay told reporters at the scene.
A man standing in the driveway directed firefighters to the basement and told them that there was someone inside.
“Crews made quick entry into the basement. They found a well-involved basement fire,” Kay said.
Firefighters found the woman and brought her outside, where they performed CPR before turning her over to paramedics.
Toronto Paramedic Services said they transported the woman to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Shortly before 10 p.m., Kay told reporters at the scene that the woman had since died of her injuries.
“We have since learned that she has died due to her injuries from the fire,” Kay said. “Toronto Fire Services investigations, the Office of the Fire Marshall and Toronto Police are going to be conducting a thorough investigation into the origin, cause and circumstance of this fire.”
It is not yet clear what caused the fire.
“It was an obvious basement fire and there was heavy fire coming from the front of the house so we know that is probably the origin of the fire, but the cause is not determined yet,” Kay said.
He said there is no indication so far that the fire is suspicious.
Kay said an elderly husband and wife lived at the home. He said the man who met firefighters had been at a neighbour’s house and it’s not clear whether he was the woman’s husband.
No other injuries were reported.
Kay said the fire was difficult to combat, in part due to the location and the wind.
“Every basement fire is a difficult fire to fight. Pretty much going down the stairs of a house that has a basement fire is like climbing down a chimney, to be quite frank with you,” he said.
“It is a very windy evening tonight, so the fire was certainly fanned by some of the wind.”
A crew will remain on-scene overnight to watch for hot spots, Kay said.