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August 18, 2005
Toronto Fire Services battles stubborn blaze in city's downtown area
In the early morning hours today, Toronto Fire Services responded to a call of
a fire at a residential unit on Seaton Street. A serious fire met crews with
flames showing from the roof area, and the alarm level was quickly raised to a
second and subsequently, a third alarm.

At the height of the fire, there were approximately 20 fire vehicles on the
scene and 65 firefighters battling the blaze. Fire suppression efforts were
hampered by restricted vehicle access to the residence due to narrow streets,
and one vehicle sustained minor damages when crews attempted to set up an
aerial ladder in order to gain access to the roof area.

One firefighter was taken to hospital experiencing chest pains and is currently
under observation. The fire damage was mostly contained to the roof area, with
a skylight melting and resulting in some drop burning inside the residence.
Preliminary damage estimates are in the neighbourhood of $100,000. The cause of
the fire has not been determined.

Fire Chief Bill Stewart, who visited the scene early this morning said, "Our
crews did a great job battling this blaze, but their efforts were hampered by
the access problem and the tight road widths. This, coupled with the parked
vehicles on the street made the set-up and operation of our aerials, as well as
the ability to advance equipment to the fire area very difficult. Although
working smoke alarms, and an alarm system activated by residents ensured that
everyone got out safely, residential sprinklers would have helped control the
spread of the fire in the residence caused by the drop burning."

Media contact:

Captain David Sheen
(office) 416-338-9317
(cell) 416-578-4316
(pager) 416-468-9978



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