Ontario’s police watchdog to investigate fatal fire in Toronto highrise

Ontario’s police watchdog is investigating a fatal fire in a downtown Toronto highrise building on Friday night.

A man, 32, died in the fire at 220 Victoria St, near Yonge and Shuter Streets.

In a news release on Saturday, the Special Investigations Unit said Toronto police were called to the 22-storey building for a report of an assault shortly after 8 p.m.

The SIU said officers made their way to a unit on the 12th floor and they tried to communicate with the man from outside the unit.

“Circumstances developed resulting in police contacting Toronto Fire Services (TFS),” the SIU said. 

“Upon their arrival, TFS entered the apartment and saw flames and smoke. They located the man and brought him out.”

According to Toronto Fire, the man was brought to the lobby, where crews performed CPR.

The man was pronounced dead on the scene.

Fire in one apartment unit

Capt. David Eckerman. spokesperson for Toronto Fire, said the fire was mainly on the balcony of the unit and was mostly contained to the apartment. Fire crews got the call around 9:18 p.m., he said.

Smoke damage to the rest of the building was minimal, he said.

The building was evacuated, police said. Two TTC buses were on the scene on Friday night for residents to provide shelter for residents.

The SIU has assigned two investigators and two forensic investigators to the case. 

Anyone who may have relevant information to contact the lead investigator at 1-800-787-8529. Anyone who may have any video evidence related to the fire is urged to upload it through the SIU website.

The SIU is an agency that investigates reports involving police were there has been a death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.

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