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April 19, 2005
Toronto Fire responds to high-rise fire in City’s west end
This morning, at 9:22 a.m. Toronto Fire Services responded to a fire in the
apartment building at 5005 Dundas St. West. Crews found heavy flames and smoke
at the rear of the building. The alarm level was quickly upgraded to level
three. A number of occupants were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation;
two people were transported to hospital.

In the wake of this fire, Toronto Fire Services would like to remind everyone
of the following safety tips:

What actions must I take in a fire?

During a fire emergency, never attempt to leave a building by an elevator. Heat
can activate elevator call buttons, sending the elevator to the fire floor,
where dense smoke may interfere with the elevator's light-sensitive eye and
prevent the door from closing. Also, you may become trapped in the elevator if
water from firefighting operations creates a power failure. In addition, fire
fighters require designated elevators to carry them and their equipment to the
floor below the fire.
In reacting to a fire in a high building, you must decide on one of the
following options:
Do I leave the building to safety? or
Is it safer to stay where I am?

What steps do I take when fire is in my apartment or office?

Alert everyone in your apartment or office.
Leave immediately. Close, but don't lock, all doors behind you.
Sound the fire alarm by activating a red manual pull station on the fire floor
(when safe to do so).
Call 9-1-1. Never assume that someone else has already done so. Make sure you
give your name, the correct address and location of the fire.
Use the exit stairwells. Don't use elevators. Don't return until firefighters
declared the apartment or office safe.

What steps do I take when I hear a fire alarm?

If you choose to leave the building:
Leave as soon as possible.
Before opening any door, feel the door handle and the door itself, starting
from the bottom, moving to the top. If the door is not hot, open it slightly.
If you see or smell smoke, or feel or hear air pressure or a hot draft, close
the door quickly.
If the corridor is free of fire or smoke, take your keys, close the door behind
you, and leave the building by the nearest exit stairwell, again closing all
doors after you.
If you encounter smoke in a stairwell, consider taking an alternate stairwell.
Be sure to crawl low under smoke. If the alternate is also contaminated with
smoke, return to your suite.
When you are safely outside call 9-1-1. Never assume that someone else has
already done so. Make sure you give your name, the correct address and location
of the fire.

If you cannot leave your apartment / office or have returned to it because of
fire or heavy smoke:

Close, but don't lock any doors for possible entry by firefighters.
Seal all cracks where smoke can enter by using wet towels or sheets. Seal mail
slots, transoms and ventilation outlets as necessary (a roll of wide duct tape
is handy).
Move to the balcony or to the most protected room and partially open a window
for air. Close the window if smoke enters.
Keep low to the floor. Heat and toxic gases rise.
Signal fire fighters by waving a white sheet or towel.
Wait to be rescued. Remain calm. Don't panic or jump.
Listen for instructions or information from authorized personnel over the
building's internal speaker system.

High-rise survival kit

The Toronto Fire Services recommends a high-rise survival kit for tenants of
high buildings, readily available if they become trapped during a fire. You can
purchase the following list of items for less than $50. Having these items
available for emergency use may improve your chances of surviving a fire.
1. Wet towel - Place at the base of a door.
2. Duct tape - Tape over door and vent openings.
3. Foil wrap - Use to cover vent openings.
4. Whistle - Use to signal for help.
5. Flashlight - Use in case of power failure, smoke, or to signal for help.
6. Bright-coloured cloth - Hang up in a window, or on a balcony, to identify
your location.
7. Ink marker - Use for messages on cloth, door or windows.
8. Cotton bed sheet - If smoke is heavy in your room, soak the bed sheet with
water and make a tent near an open window.
9. Washcloth - Place the wet cloth over your mouth and nose to aid breathing in
smoke-filled areas.
10. Fire safety plan - Have a copy of your building's emergency procedures
11. Plastic pail with lid - Use for storing survival equipment. (Fill with
water during a fire.)

Media contact:

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



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