Man dead after house fire in North York

·2 min read
There was heavy smoke and flames when emergency crews arrived at the home, police said. (Linda Ward/CBC - image credit)
There was heavy smoke and flames when emergency crews arrived at the home, police said. (Linda Ward/CBC - image credit)

A man in his 50s was killed in a house fire overnight in North York, Toronto police say.

Emergency services were called to a home on Mayberry Road, near the corner of Jane Street and Sheppard Avenue West, shortly after 4 a.m. Thursday.

Two elderly residents were helped out of the house by a responding officer, police said.

Soon after, firefighters found the man unconscious in the basement of the home.

Firefighters and paramedics attempted to save the man's life. He was rushed to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Sabino Polidoro told reporters at the scene that he lived in the house with his parents and a man he only identified as Frank, who had been living with them off and on for the last few years. The fire had started in the man's bedroom in the basement, Polidoro said, adding that Frank didn't get out because he was trying to douse the flames.

"He's a stubborn guy, but he's a great guy … you know, he tried to put the fire out. And I guess he saved us all," Polidoro said.

The fire broke out at around 3:30 a.m., Polidoro said.

"I heard a noise and I smelled the smoke, and by the time I went downstairs, Frank was trying to put out the fire," he said. But soon the fire alarm was going off, and black smoke was billowing out of Frank's room.

Polidoro was worried about his parents.

"I go, 'Frank forget it, lets just go,'" he said. "So I ran upstairs to get my mom and my dad out."

By the time Polidoro got upstairs, he couldn't see anything at all.

"It was like, pitch black. And you couldn't breathe," he said.

Polidoro worked on getting his parents out of the house, and thought Frank was doing the same. He said Frank's parents had passed away some years ago, and he was working on "getting his life back together.

"He had nowhere to go, so my mom took him in," he said, adding that Frank would often take his mother to church.

"He was like a son to her, he was like a brother to me too," he said.