6-alarm fire guts home under construction in Toronto’s north end

Click to play video 'Massive fire guts home under construction in Lawrence Park' Massive fire guts home under construction in Lawrence Park
WATCH ABOVE: A six-alarm fire gutted a house under construction in the Bayview and Lawrence Avenue area. Currently Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg says there’s no evidence that the fire is suspicious. Matthew Bingley reports – Mar 8, 2019

Toronto firefighters have extinguished a six-alarm fire that gutted a house under construction in Lawrence Park.

Emergency crews were called to the home on Rochester Avenue, near St. Ives Crescent, after 7:20 p.m. on Thursday.

Toronto Fire Services acting division chief Doug Harper told reporters Thursday night it appeared the fire began in the basement.

“There are challenges trying to get at the fire for the final extinguishment,” he said.

READ MORE: 1 dead, another injured after 5-alarm blaze at Bathurst and Richmond streets

Harper said the house, which he estimated to be about 5,000 square feet, was still in a lightweight construction phase. He said firefighters initially couldn’t get inside due to safety concerns.

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Weather conditions also caused difficulties for responding crews.

The fire was upgraded from a four-alarm to a six-alarm just after midnight and was under control just before noon on Friday.

A neighbour next door whose home was covered in ice from the water told Global News Toronto firefighters saved his house from going up in flames.

READ MORE: Toronto Fire investigating blaze that decimated man’s downtown condo

“They said their number one priority was to save our house. They did it,” Henry Borden said.

Borden also said the home next door was under construction for about 18 to 20 months and was three months from completion.

Fire officials said there were no reports of injuries.

Authorities said it’s too early to determine the cause of the fire.

During a Friday afternoon update, Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg said that crews are discussing if they need to engage heavy equipment and dismantle the home to “fully suppress” any leftover hot spots from the fire and allow crews to investigate inside the home.

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Pegg said the home suffered extensive damages but there’s currently no indication that the fire was suspicious in nature.

— With a file from David Shum and Oriena Vuong