Man, 71, dead in fire at Brampton seniors home

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Man, 71, dead in fire at Brampton seniors home

An early morning fire at a seniors' home in Brampton has left a 71-year-old man dead and two other people injured.

The man who died was found with vital signs outside the apartment where the blaze is believed to have started.

He was transported to hospital but was pronounced dead upon arrival. 

Jerome Smith lives in the building next door. He says the victim was well known in the community and often babysat children from the neighbourhood . 

"He's a good man, he takes care of a lot of people," said Smith. "It's a shock to me what's going on right now. I got the phone call and I rushed right over." 

Brampton Fire and Emergency Services told CBC Toronto that the fire occurred on the fourth floor of a residence at 53 McHardy Place, near Main Street North and Queen Street West, in Brampton.

The call came in at 6:09 a.m.

30 people forced to leave

One of the injured, a resident, suffered smoke inhalation and was taken to hospital in serious condition, Peel paramedics said.

The other injured person is a Brampton firefighter who was treated at the scene for lacerations to one of his hands and then released. 

About 30 residents and staff were forced the leave the building, they were temporarily relocated to the Brampton Curling Club across the street.

Many of the residents were shaken by the incident and throughout the day, their friends and family stopped by to visit them. 

"My mom lives on the first floor," said Carl Doodkaugh. "She said she's okay but a bit shaken up, cause she's in her 80s and she's not in the best of health, she uses a walker. The paramedics had to lift her up and take her across the street." 

After a few hours, those living on the first three floors were allowed back into the building, 

No cause determined

Const. Mark Fischer, spokesperson for Peel Regional Police, said residents living on the fourth floor were only allowed to return to pick up necessities but due to some smoke damage, authorities have deemed the floor uninhabitable at this point.

For those who are unable to stay with family, authorities have arranged for accommodations.

The cause has not yet been determined. No estimate of damages was available.