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Gosford high-rise fire was accidental, Fire Marshal confirms

Last Updated Feb 25, 2020 at 6:48 pm EDT

The Ontario Fire Marshal’s office says that a fatal fire at 235 Gosford Boulevard late last year was accidental.

A newly released report says the fire was sparked by a space heater in one of the apartment’s bedrooms being “too close to combustibles.”

Hundreds of tenants were displaced when the five-alarm fire ripped through the building in North York on Nov. 15, 2019.

A 57-year-old man was killed and six others were injured in the incident at a high rise apartment building.

Ontario Fire Marshal John Pegg says several factors played a role in the tragedy, including when occupants attempted to extinguish the flames themselves instead of leaving and calling 9-1-1.

“This tragic fire reinforces the need for those who live in high-rises, and other occupancies where tenants live, to learn what to do if a fire occurs in your building,” he explained.

“Learn about the fire safety features in your building and the emergency procedures outlined in the building’s fire safety plan. This includes knowing the locations of exit stairs from your floor in case the nearest one is blocked and evacuating if you hear a smoke alarm.”

Following the fire, the building’s management made several changes to the rules, saying no propane tanks or barbecues would be allowed in units or balconies and no space heaters would be allowed in units.

Last month, landlords said 29 units in the building would not be ready for reoccupation for at least another year.

Ronkay Management Inc., said the 29 units, along the 08 and 09 lines from the second to 15th floor as well as apartments 106, 107, 1606, and 1607, sustained extensive damage that prevents tenants from moving back in.