Toronto firefighter sustained several broken ribs after he fell from the roof of an abandoned row house while fighting a two-alarm fire overnight.
The fire broke out at the row house on Mutual Street near Gerrard and Jarvis streets at around 3 a.m.
Acting Chief Jim Jessop tells CP24 that by the time crews arrived on scene they were greeted with a “serious working fire with heavy flames and smoke.”
He said that the firefighter fell from the roof of the row house while conducting a primary search to ensure that nobody was inside the building.
“He fell approx. 30 feet, called a mayday, firefighters found him immediately and transferred him to the care of paramedics services. The firefighter was then rushed to St. Michael’s (Hospital).” Jessop told CP24 at the scene. “I have personally visited him along with other senior officers and association members and we are happy to report that the firefighter, although suffering a number of fractured ribs, is expected to fully recover.”
Jessop said that “lots of thoughts” ran through his head when he was awoken by a call reporting that a firefighter had been seriously injured while on duty.
He described that call as a senior officer’s “worst nightmare.”
“This is the risk that our men and women face every night,” he said.
Vacant buildings pose risk to firefighters
Members of the Toronto Fire Services investigative division are on scene now and will be looking into the circumstances of the fire
Jessop said that while it is early too early to speculate on a cause, the fact that the blaze occurred in a vacant building is a reminder of the danger posed by those properties.
“What this shows us is the challenge that these abandoned vacant buildings pose. They are a significant threat to our staff,” he said. “We will be looking at the history of this property and the obvious risks that this poses to the community and our firefighters.”