Concerned residents of Greenwood Towers near Greenwood and Danforth avenues told Global News they smelled smoke around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday and wondered what had happened. They also reported seeing police officers and fire officials, but said were never told what happened.
Toronto Fire Captain David Eckerman confirmed to Global News Tuesday that a call came in with a report of a man without vital signs at 145 Strathmore Blvd. When emergency crews arrived, they found an active fire. The victim was a man in his 60s.
“The on-scene investigation is complete and the preliminary cause analysis is accidental,” Eckerman said, adding a smoldering cigarette appears to be the cause.
Radie Tadesse, who lives three doors down from where the man died, said he’s sad, “Nobody told us, even metro housing.”
Another tenant, Craig Kirkland, called it a scary situation.
“You hate to hear about anybody losing their life, especially in a fire,” he said.
TCH spokesperson Daniele Gauvin told Global News in an email that tenant safety is a top priority.
“Other tenants were not notified about the fire as it was contained to a single unit and did not affect other units,” she said.
The housing organization said they were “unable” to release additional information on the fire because of privacy laws.
Gauvin said all in-suite smoke alarms are being replaced out of an abundance of caution.
Toronto Fire Services said investigators don’t know if the smoke detector was working the man’s suite 1215 at the time of the fire since the investigation is continuing.
Global News has also learned that on Nov. 24, Toronto Community Housing pleaded guilty to five offences under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act in two separate cases.
Documents obtained from a west-end Toronto provincial offences court showed TCH pleaded guilty to two offences in relation to a fire on Feb. 8 at 275 Shuter St.: Failing to ensure that supervisory staff are instructed in fire emergency procedures and failing to ensure that a fire safety plan was prepared. The province fined the TCH $25,000 for those violations.
TCH was also fined an additional $35,000 on the same day at a provincial offences court in the city’s east end. Those fines were levied after the housing corporation pleaded guilty to three offences, including failing to repair damaged fire separations between rooms, with respect to a townhouse complex at 415 Willowdale Ave. Those charges were laid on May 30, 2016.