No injuries after 3 alarm house fire in the west of the city

No injuries were reported after a three-alarm fire ripped through one house and damaged another in west Toronto Monday night.

The fire broke out in the Emerson Avenue and Dupont Street area around 7:30 p.m.

Firefighters arrived on the scene and found black smoke billowing from a home, which eventually went up in flames.

“There was a lot of heavy black smoke. You couldn’t see the houses when we arrived,” platoon chief Tim Algar told CP24 at the scene.

Algar said the two affected houses are only four inches apart and it is not yet clear where the fire started.

“All we know is it started at the back,” he said.

A woman who lives in the house next door said she was cooking when someone knocked on her door and told her to get out of the house.

“My girls were doing homework in the room. Someone started banging on my door and ringing the bell like crazy. I yelled at one of my girls to open the door. She opened the door and all I heard was someone saying ‘go away – there’s a fire’.”

The woman, who did not want to be identified, said the house that went up in flames was being renovated.

She said she grabbed her kids and dogs and ran out of the house.

“We’ve been standing here watching our house burn,” she said.

She added that she has been told that “the entire roof in the back half of my house is completely gone”.

Several people were inside doing renovations on the top floor of the house, which was more severely damaged. Algar said they too had no idea the house was on fire until someone notified them.

“They had no idea until someone knocked on their door and yelled that there was a fire in the back and then they looked and saw it was completely involved in the back,” Algar said.

Algar said both homes will likely need to be evacuated for the time being due to the damage.

Toronto fire chief Matthew Pegg said conditions for firefighters were “challenging” on Monday, with a special weather statement in effect due to the high temperatures in the city.

“An extremely challenging day for our @Toronto_Fire crews,” Pegg said in a tweet. “Handling 3 major fires at once – a 3rd alarm fire on Emerson plus two 2nd alarm fires – Halsey Ave and Gerrard St East – further challenges our crews to operate safely in high outdoor temperatures.”

Toronto is currently experiencing its first heat event of the season, with highs expected to hover around 30°C through Wednesday.

Algar said the conditions made it a challenge to keep firefighters in good shape as they battled the flames.

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