Man found dead during Toronto condo fire while police at building for assault call

A fire happened at a Victoria Street building in downtown Toronto Friday evening. Global News

A man has been found dead by crews responding to a fire at a downtown Toronto condo unit.

Toronto police and paramedics were first called to the 22-storey building on Victoria Street, southeast of Yonge Street and Dundas Street East, at around 8:20 p.m. on Friday.

A police spokesperson told Global News officers were called to the building with reports of an assault in progress.

Story continues below advertisement

Toronto Fire Services (TFS) was called to the building about an hour later.

A spokesperson for the department said police advised firefighters there was a person on the 12th floor, adding there were reports of smoke and flames on the balcony.

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU), which later invoked their mandate, said police forced open the door of a condo, saw flames inside, and tried to communicate with a 32-year-old man who lived in the unit.

The TFS spokesperson said there was heavy smoke inside the condo unit and there was a fire on the balcony after firefighters arrived. They said a person was found inside the unit by firefighters and brought to paramedics.

The 32-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene.

READ MORE: Video appears to show Toronto police cruiser running over suspect reportedly carrying knife

The TFS spokesperson initially said firefighters were delayed in responding due to “police activity,” but didn’t have details on why they were delayed.

In an update Saturday afternoon, Toronto Fire Services said that remark was based on an “opinion.”

“The fact is that Toronto police were the first to notify TFS of the fire and our response time from receiving the call to arriving at scene was five minutes,” the update said.

Story continues below advertisement

“TFS was not delayed in fighting this fire.”

The fire was extinguished after 9:45 p.m.

The SIU investigates the conduct of officers involved in incidents that have resulted in death, serious injury or alleged sexual assault.

Fire investigators at 220 Victoria Street Saturday morning. Dave Kotyk / Global News

— With files from Ryan Rocca and Alanna Rizza

Click to play video: 'Some Toronto fire stations temporarily close due to COVID-19' Some Toronto fire stations temporarily close due to COVID-19
Some Toronto fire stations temporarily close due to COVID-19 – Apr 4, 2020

Sponsored content