There were no casualties after a three-alarm fire broke out in one home and damaged another on the west end of Toronto on Monday evening.
The fire started around 7.30 pm in the Emerson Avenue and DuPont Street areas.
Firefighters rushed to the spot seeing black smoke billowing out of a house, which eventually engulfed in flames.
“There was very heavy black smoke. You couldn’t see the houses when we arrived,” Platoon Chief Tim Alger told CP24 at the scene.
Algar said the two houses affected were only four inches apart and it was not yet clear where the fire started.
“We all know it started from behind,” he said.
A woman living in the adjoining house said that she was cooking dinner when someone knocked on her door and said that she and her children needed to get out of the house.
“My girls were doing homework in the room. Someone started banging on my door and started ringing my doorbell like crazy. I yelled at one of my girls to answer me at the door. He answered the door and I heard someone saying ‘Get out – there’s a fire.'”
On condition of anonymity, the woman said the house where the fire broke out was undergoing renovation.
She said that she grabbed her children and dogs and ran away from home.
“We stand here watching our house burn down,” she said.
She said she was told that “the whole roof of the back half of my house is gone.”
Several people were making repairs on the upper level of the house which was more severely damaged. Algar said he didn’t even know the house was on fire until someone informed him.
“They didn’t know it was until someone knocked on their door and shouted that there was fire in the back and then they looked up and saw it was all over the back,” Algar said.
Algar said that both the houses may have to be vacated for the time being due to the damage.
Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg said the situation was “challenging” for firefighters on Monday, with a special weather description in effect because of high temperatures in the city.
“An extremely challenging day for our @Toronto_Fire employees,” Pegg said in a tweet. “Tackling 3 critical fires simultaneously – a third alarm fire plus two second alarm fires at Emerson – Halsey Avenue and Gerard St. East – makes it even more challenging for our employees to work safely in high outdoor temperatures.”
Toronto is currently experiencing its first heat event of the season, with high temperatures expected to hover around 30°C by Wednesday.
Algar said conditions made it challenging to keep firefighters in good shape while battling the flames.