The Ontario Fire Marshal’s office is investigating the cause of a deadly five-alarm blaze in downtown Toronto early Monday.
Fire crews responded to the scene at 160 Bathurst St., between Queen and Richmond streets, around 5:30 a.m.
Fire officials said two people were pulled from the basement unit of a home and both were rushed to hospital in critical condition.
Chief Matthew Pegg said the male victim succumbed to their injuries. Friends identified the man as William Secord Mattson.
Toronto Fire said the blaze prompted a two-alarm response but was quickly upgraded to a four-alarm and then a five-alarm after the fire spread to adjacent buildings.
Pegg said crews got the fire under control around 10 a.m.
The active fire forced the closure of Bathurst Street and Portland Street between Queen and Adelaide streets for most of the morning. The area was reopened at noon.
Mayor John Tory expressed his sadness over the loss of life just prior to an executive meeting at city hall Monday morning.
“It is a very sad and deeply regretful thing when we have a fatal fire or anything that causes a life to be lost in the city and we had one this morning,” Tory said.
“I extend my condolences to the family of the person that lost their life and as well, at the same time my commendation for the firefighters who were there this morning battling a very difficult fire.”
The landlord of both 160 and 162 Bathurst said he has owned the two buildings for nearly 60 years.
“Everything is broken. The windows everything. I have to replace everything. I got to go through insurance,” said Corrado Accaputo.
Due to the heavy smoke in the area, officials had told residents to close their doors and windows.
“There’s no indication of hazardous materials. However, there was a large volume of smoke,” Pegg said.
A TTC transit bus was made available at Bathurst and Richmond for those who needed shelter, officials said.