Fire truck destroyed as dozens of unoccupied homes go up in flames in Vaughan

A stubborn fire ripped through a townhouse complex under construction in Vaughan. Melissa Nakhavoly has the latest on the investigation.

An investigation will determine the cause of a massive fire that destroyed almost two dozen homes on Sunday, including a valuable piece of firefighting equipment.

Firefighters were called to the scene on Simmons Street in the area of Highway 27 and Rutherford Road just after 4 a.m. When they arrived they were met with heavy black smoke and flames in one of the complexes. Northerly winds helped fuel the blaze, which quickly spread to neighbouring complexes and escalated the fire to three-alarms.

As many as 60 firefighters and 14 apparatus were battling the blaze at its peak which had engulfed between 20 and 30 other unoccupied units on site.

“Because we went from stick-built construction, which would be all wood, to fully-bricked drywalled homes – we can’t get inside them, you couldn’t get inside due to fire conditions and now we’re battling it defensively,” said Vaughan Deputy Fire Chief Grant Moffat.

Moffat confirmed that an aerial fire truck which was first to arrive on the scene was destroyed after flames engulfed the unit.

“Due to the rapid flames moving through the complex, they couldn’t move the truck and unfortunately it’s a total loss,” said Moffat.

Multiple homes nearby were evacuated as a precaution. Residents have since been able to return to their homes.

No injuries have been reported. Rutherford Road has re-opened from McGillivray Road to Highway 27.

The Office of the Fire Marshal has been called in to investigate and determine the origin and cause of the blaze.

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