5 escape unharmed from fire that engulfs North York home

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5 escape unharmed from fire that engulfs North York home

Five people escaped unharmed after a fire engulfed a home in North York early Wednesday, a Toronto fire official says.

No one was injured in the fire on Elvaston Drive, near Victoria Park Avenue and Eglinton Avenue East, because smoke alarms in the house were working properly, according to Capt. Michael Westwood, spokesperson for Toronto Fire Services.

"This is the perfect example of the importance of having working smoke alarms," Westwood said.

"In this case, the people were sleeping when a fire had erupted around their house. The working smoke alarms alerted them to the fire and gave them those few precious moments to escape the fire."

The five fled the single-family home before fire crews arrived, he said.

Emergency crews were called to the house at about 3:35 a.m. for a report of a fire. When crews arrived, they saw heavy black smoke billowing from the back of the house.

Cause unknown

The fire had spread to the roof at the rear of the home, Westwood said.

Firefighters were later seen cutting through the roof to get at the fire.

By 4:15 a.m., the blaze was under control, Westwood said. Firefighters continued to chase and put out hot spots, he added.

"It caused a significant amount of damage," he said.

A damage estimate was not available and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

The blaze was considered to be a two-alarm fire, which means 12 fire trucks and about 45 firefighters responded to the call.

"Fire goes very fast and hot and a lot of materials in homes now are synthetic materials so they burn very quickly," Westwood said.

"It's important to have working smoke alarms to get out of the house in time to save your life and that of your family."

In this case, the family's pet dog also escaped but their pet cat did not survive.

Fire on Tuesday night injures man

On Tuesday night, firefighters were busy with another fire that sent one man to hospital.

Firefighters were called to a fire in a home on Caddy Drive, near Lawrence Avenue East and Scarborough Golf Club Road, at 10:40 p.m.

Smoke detectors sounded the alarm and smoke was seen coming from the basement.

Paramedics rushed a man without vital signs from the home to a trauma centre, but his condition has since been upgraded to stable, Toronto police spokesperson Const. Allyson Douglas-Cook said on Wednesday.