One person dead after fire at Toronto highrise apartment building

Fire North York

Blaze rages through North York high-rise

One person is dead after fire erupted in a highrise apartment building in north Toronto on Friday afternoon and quickly spread to several floors.

While police initially reported that no one had been seriously hurt during the terrifying event, Toronto fire chief Matthew Pegg confirmed on Saturday that a body had been discovered on a badly burned balcony.

The entire building has been evacuated.

Pegg said six people were transferred to paramedics.

Mayor John Tory and Pegg announced displaced residents would be able to go the Driftwood Community Centre Friday night.

Toronto Fire Deputy Fire Chief Tony Bovata said that the body was found just after 1 a.m.

"We don't have any indication that it's a suspicious fire at this stage".

"Some secondary searches were conducted and investigations, at which point a body was located on one of the balconies", Bovata said Saturday morning.

One person was transported to a hospital in serious but stable condition, Toronto paramedics said.

Fire services fielded the call shortly after 5:30 p.m., and have been attempting to tame the blaze for the last few hours.

The Ontario Fire Marshal's Office is also investigating the fire.

Firefighters said the fire broke out on the seventh floor of the building before spreading to other floors. "All of the work that was done was up and down the staircases".

On Saturday, inspectors ordered the power shut off at the apartment building, causing hundreds of tenants to be displaced.

Toronto police said in an update on Twitter that residents were asked to "seek temporary shelter with friends/family" as arrangements were being made to help those without accommodations.

Tenants used several TTC buses for shelter and some people slept on the buses.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and those affected by this tragic loss", the fire chief said in a tweet on Saturday morning.

Toronto Fire said that the building will not reopen until Electrical Safety, Toronto Building Department and the Toronto Fire Investigation is complete.

Toronto Deputy Chief Jim Jessop told reporters at the scene on Saturday morning that firefighters worked throughout the night to bring the blaze under control and he described their fearless efforts as "heroic".

About 100 firefighters and 22 trucks raced to the scene of the five-alarm blaze as flames and smoke belched from the building.

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