A major fire at a heritage home downtown Sunday evening caused hundreds to be evacuated from a neighbouring highrise.
At around midnight, firefighters were called to the two-alarm blaze at 314 Jarvis St., near the corner of Jarvis and Carlton Streets.
When crews arrived, the fire was fully involved and firefighters were forced to use a defensive attack, meaning they did not enter the building due to safety concerns, said Kevin Shaw, Platoon Chief for Toronto Fire Services.
“It was just deemed too dangerous to go into the building,” said Shaw.
Shaw said they don’t believe anyone was in the building and no injuries have been reported.
A hotel nearby and the highrise just north of the heritage home was evacuated. The highrise is a shared residence for students from the University of Toronto and Ryerson University, said Shaw.
Many of the residents, like Connor Hatziyannis, had just moved in that day.
“I was unpacking my bags… And I saw a couple of embers and I heard fire trucks,” Hatziyannis said.
“I looked out the window and I saw that building just engulfed in flames.”
Residents have since been allowed back into both buildings.
There have been multiple fires at this heritage home, built in 1865, in the past few years. One three-alarm blaze in 2016 gutted the building and Shaw said another broke out a month and half ago, causing damage to the building’s floors.
The fire is out but crews will remain on scene throughout the day Monday to take care of any hot spots or flare-ups.
Shaw said the cause of the fire is still unknown but the incident will more than likely be treated as suspicious.
The City of Toronto engineering and construction services have been called to determine the next steps for the heritage building.