Toronto firefighters are currently trying to put out a raging five-alarm fire downtown, near Bathurst and Richmond Streets. The blaze reportedly broke out a little before 5:30 AM Monday morning in a basement apartment located at 160 Bathurst Street. Two people, believed to be the residents of the apartment, were pulled from the building. One is currently is in critical condition while the other managed to escape with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, According to Toronto Paramedic Services.
A massive fire crew has assembled near Bathurst and Richmond to battle the flames with 13 trucks and 50 firefighters currently on scene. Bathurst Street has been shut down between Richmond and Queen Street West while the crews attempt to put out the problematic fire. Toronto Fire Services is advising all residents to avoid the area at all cost for their own safety.
According to CP24, the bitterly cold weather is making it hard for firefighters to breathe as their breathing apparatuses are freezing under the conditions. Fire Chief Matthew Pegg also revealed that crews are tending to several other neighbouring building that could be affected by the blaze as well.
“Our crews were focused immediately of course on locating and removing the victims. Now that they’re out obviously our efforts are on controlling the fire and preventing the spread,” explained Pegg to CP24.
"We’re dealing with a very, very high level of both fire and smoke and we’re having a really difficult time controlling the spread of the fire across the adjoining buildings,” Pegg said to 680NEWS. The fire is advancing "very quickly" and is proving difficult to put out, even for such a large crew.
Thick smoke has reportedly engulfed the area where firefighters are attempting to prevent the blaze from spreading. Fire crews had first tried to enter the building but were forced to abandon that plan when conditions worsened and it became too dangerous. It is unknown at this time how the fire started.