Sri Lankan family hospitalized after Scarborough house fire

Friends of the Sri Lankan family said seven people lived in the dwelling.

5 hospitalized after Scarborough house fire 
By Irene Thomaidis ,Toronto Sun 
First posted: Tuesday, November 06, 2012 07:00 AM EST | Updated: Tuesday, November 06, 2012 09:20 PM EST
Paramedics rush a child to hospital after he was rescued from a burning home on Canlish Rd. (VICTOR BIRO/Special to the Toronto Sun)

TORONTO – Heartbreak gripped an east Toronto neighbourhood where fire ripped through a home as three generations of family slept inside.

Five residents were taken to hospital – two in serious condition and one clinging to life Tuesday after Toronto firefighters rescued them from the burning bungalow on Canlish Dr., in the Birchmount Rd.-Lawrence Ave. E. area.

Friends of the Sri Lankan family said seven people lived in the dwelling.

It’s believed a grandmother, grandfather and their two adult sons lived on the main floor and the older couple’s pregnant daughter, her husband and their 22-month-old son lived in the basement.

Krishnavillai Velubillai, a “neighbour from back home,” became choked up as he thought of the older couple’s second daughter, who is studying at McMaster University and wasn’t home.

Velubillai said the grandparents and their son-in-law were rushed to hospital in critical condition. Some reports claim the grandmother initially had no vital signs.

“(But) the baby is okay,” Velubillai said, explaining the child and his pregnant mom escaped unharmed.

“I’ve never seen in my life anything like this,” he said. “It’s very sad.”

Neighbours said they heard “a boom” around 1 a.m. Firefighters arrived soon after and found a cube van engulfed in flame in the driveway and fire shooting out the roof of the home.

There is speculation the two-alarm fire may have started in the truck and spread to the house.

Theodore Evon, 52, owns the house next door, which was also damaged by the fire, and said he was “shocked” at how quickly flame spread.

Evon, who has been renovating his house but hasn’t yet moved in his family, raced to the scene after receiving a call about the blaze.

“When we pulled up all the roads were blocked and there were fire trucks all over the place, so we just sat and watched,” Evon said. “That’s all we could do.”

By the time firefighters doused the blaze, the cube van was gutted and the north side of Evon’s neighbour’s home was badly damaged.

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