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Families homeless after fire

A fire that tore through an apartment yesterday morning sent sevenpeople, including three children, to hospital and has left threefamilies homeless.

A fire that tore through an apartment yesterday morning sent seven people, including three children, to hospital and has left three families homeless.

Fire crews were alerted at about 7:40 a.m. that some fourth-floor residents of 2 Biggin Court, in the Eglinton Avenue East and Victoria Park Avenue area, were trapped in their units.

“I heard the fire alarm go off, then I heard people yelling and screaming so I went to open the door and black smoke started coming in,” said Zack Rosenthel, 45, a fourth-floor resident who moved to the building six months ago.

He said he immediately closed the door and put towels under the door to stop the smoke from coming in.

“We couldn’t get out; we were trapped. We tried to keep calm, but it was overwhelming,” he said.

None of the seven people sent to hospital with smoke inhalation had life-threatening injuries. Eight other residents were treated outside the building.

Fire Capt. David Eckerman said black smoke from the burning unit forced some tenants onto their balconies.

Crews forced their way into the burning unit and extinguished the fire around 8 a.m.

“I took a peek inside, it was pitch black in there. Though the fire was out I could still feel the heat. It’s pretty bad,” he said.

Police Sgt. Brian Gottschalk said two TTC buses were on scene to keep residents warm until crews declared the building safe.

The three families forced out by smoke damage are trying to find places to stay until they are told they can return.

Gottschalk said the residents have some options, including trying to get their insurers to fund temporary lodging, or staying in a Toronto emergency centre.

Gottschalk said an unattended candle is suspected in the blaze.

 
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