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Woman in hospital after fire at 200 Wellesley

Toronto firefighters can be seen on a balcony as smoke billows from a nearby window at 200 Wellesley St. E. on May 5, 2014. CITYNEWS.

A woman is in hospital after a fire at a high-rise apartment building at 200 Wellesley St. E. early on Monday morning.

The fire began on the 19th floor of the apartment building near Sherbourne Street around 7:15 a.m.

The extent of the woman’s injuries is not yet known.

It’s not yet known what caused the fire but Toronto Fire said that “some fire safety systems did not operate as intended.”

One issue is the system that Toronto Fire uses to communicate with tenants, Toronto Fire told CityNews. It was not working and firefighters could not tell residents whether to stay in their units or leave the building.

Heavy smoke filled the hallways but the fire was under control by 7:35 a.m., Toronto Fire said.

“It seems like [the fire’s] been contained to the one unit,” Platoon Chief Kevin Shaw said at the scene.

“We’ve had smoke migrate through the 19th floor and the floor above.”

The damage is estimated at $50,000. The Ontario Fire Marshal’s office is investigating.

There was a massive fire at the same Toronto Community Housing building in September 2010. At that time, hundreds of residents were forced to leave their homes.

The 2010 fire started after a discarded cigarette landed on a 24th floor balcony filled with papers and other items. Neighbours said the unit was occupied by a hoarder.

The Wellesley building was Canada’s largest social housing building, according to the city’s ombudsman, and the 2010 fire forced the evacuation of 1,700 residents in 750 units – many of whom had special needs and no place to stay.