18-year-old U of T student dead, 3 others injured in Scarborough house fire

A house fire in Scarborough left one dead and three injured early Wednesday. Global News

An 18-year-old University of Toronto student is dead and three others are injured after a fire ripped through a house in Scarborough early Wednesday.

Emergency services responded to a call for a fire at a detached home on Haida Court, near Morningside Avenue and Ellesmere Road around 2:30 a.m.

Toronto Fire officials said the body of a woman was found on the second floor.

Two men and one woman were transported to hospital, including one who had jumped from a second-floor window to escape the blaze. Two suffered burn injuries while one suffered smoke inhalation, but it is unclear who suffered which injury.

The scene of a fatal fire in Scarborough on Wednesday. James Davidson/Global News
The scene of a fatal fire in Scarborough on Wednesday. James Davidson/Global News

Michael Kurts, director of communications for the University of Toronto Scarborough, told reporters all four victims were international students from China, all within the same 18-year-old age range as the deceased.

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“The University of Toronto is mourning the death of a student who died in the house fire,” Kurts said. “This is obviously a terrible tragedy, the thoughts of the entire campus community are with the family of the student who was killed and with the three other students who were in the house.”

He said the university has reached out to the students to offer any help they may need, as well as to any community and family members who have been affected.

Salam Shariff, who lives in the neighbourhood and also goes to the university, told reporters she woke up and saw smoke so she called 911.

Her boyfriend, Loick Masunda, immediately went to the house and saw one of the residents, a girl, in the front window.

“I broke the window, got the girl outside and brought her to paramedics,” Masunda told reporters, adding paramedics and fire were coming on scene right when he pulled her out.

Masunda, who is a student at the Scarborough campus as well, said he didn’t know any of the victims but called the situation “heartbreaking.”

“My heart goes out to her family.”

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There is no word as to cause of the fire, but fire officials believe it may have started in the basement.

Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg told reporters they won’t know the status of the smoke alarms in the house for a couple of days but he commended firefighters for containing the fire and preventing damage being done to any surrounding houses.

Pegg said firefighters haven’t been able to enter the home yet due to concerns about building structure.

The chief also expressed his “sincerest condolences” to the family and friends affected by the fatal fire.

The Office of the Fire Marshal and Toronto police have been notified.



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