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Woman dead in fire at Rexdale community housing building

Last Updated May 18, 2016 at 8:42 am EDT

A 45-year-old woman is dead and a police officer, who tried to save her life, is in hospital after a two-alarm fire at a community housing building in Rexdale.

The fire broke out in a third floor apartment on Kendleton Drive, near Kipling Avenue and Albion Road, around 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

The two-alarm fire broke out in a third floor unit at a community housing building on Kendleton Drive on May 18, 2016. CITYNEWS/Bertram Dandy.
The two-alarm fire broke out in a third floor unit at a community housing building on Kendleton Drive on May 18, 2016. CITYNEWS/Bertram Dandy.

 

Fire crews pulled the woman out of the burning building without vital signs. She was rushed to hospital where she later died.

Fire officials said a police constable tried to rescue the woman before firefighters arrived, but thick smoke forced him out.

“Crews arrived to find the door already forced [open]. The constable on scene had forced [open] the door to the unit in question, and initially attempted a rescue but was met with heavy smoke and fire conditions and exited the unit,” Toronto Fire district chief John Walsh said.

The officer was transported to hospital. He is being treated for minor smoke inhalation, Walsh said.

Residents say a man and a woman live in the apartment, but only she was inside the unit when the fire broke out.

It appears careless smoking may be a factor in the fire. The Ontario Fire Marshal’s office is investigating.

With files from Carl Hanstke