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August 3, 2004
Fire Fighters find missing boy in Mimico Creek
Toronto Fire Fighters from Rescue Squads 445 and 331 were tethered to flotation
crafts when they found Robert Fordjour Jr., who slipped into Mimico Creek about
24 hours earlier.

The missing seven year old boy was discovered around 2:15 p.m. submerged under
a metre of murky water next to the southeast end of a support structure of the
Islington bridge, just south of Dundas Street West.

About 35 Toronto Fire Fighters, along with dozens of Police, Emergency Medical
Services (EMS), and the Ontario Volunteer Emergency Rescue Team (OVERT) had
been combing Mimico Creek since young Robert lost his footing on a steep
incline near Eglinton Avenue West and Martin Grove Road.

Rescue Squad Crews from 445 and 331 mentioned that water was only waste deep
today, whereas yesterday it was twice as high due to rain. While tied to
floatation crafts, Fire Fighters probed Mimico Creek with pike poles. They
resumed their search at Kipling and Dundas around 7 a.m. this morning,
carefully probing every inch of Mimico Creek for about 6 kilometres before they
found the body in a calm area that wasn't accessible from shore.

"Toronto Fire Fighters are sad to confirm that the lad has drowned, but we are
relieved to bring closure for the family," said Platoon Chief BJ Hansen. He
also warns parents and guardians, "Please teach children to not play near
waterways. Rivers and creeks are especially dangerous during rain when currents
are high, fast and strong."

Even adults can get swept away by fast moving water. Almost 50 years ago,
Toronto Fire Fighters suffered a similar tragedy. On October 16, 1954,
Hurricane Hazel swept five Fire Fighters from Kingsway-Lampton Volunteer Fire
Department into the Humber River just south of Dundas Street West. Today the
names of these line-of-duty deaths are engraved on the Toronto's Fallen Fire
Fighter Memorial at Harbourfront Fire Station 334, 339 Queens Quay West. The
names are Clarence Collins, Frank Mercer, Roy Kerfoot Oliver, David Palmateer
and Angus Small. The body of 35 year old Fire Fighter Roy Kerfoot Oliver was
never recovered. He left behind a wife and three sons.

Media contact:
Captain Mike Strapko
Toronto Fire Services
pager: 416-334-5223



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