When Ljuba Bozic heard noises around 2 a.m. Sunday, her uncharacteristic reaction likely saved her and her husband’s lives, and quite possibly their two-storey Alderwood home.
Normally, Bozic would roll over and fall back asleep if she awoke in the middle of the night.
Instead, she got up out of bed to investigate.
She looked out one bedroom window. She saw nothing unusual. She looked out another. Still nothing.
The noises continued.
Then Bozic checked another window. She saw smoke billowing out of their garage.
She quickly awakened her husband Vladimir Rozankovic, and called 911.
“By the time firefighters got there, the fire had spread to the porch and the house. They made it out of the fire and saved the dog at the last minute,” said the couple’s daughter, her voice breaking with emotion.
“They heard it roar. They stood there on the sidewalk and watched as the fire burned down the house,” recalled the couple’s daughter.
Firefighters in 21 fire trucks fought the Delma Drive blaze as it spread to the second floor of the house and into the attic, Toronto fire Capt. David Eckerman said.
Fire officials called Toronto Water officials to increase the Brown’s Line-Evans Avenue area’s water pressure as the fire burned to such an extent the roof of the kitchen collapsed.
Adjacent homes were evacuated. One neighbouring home had extensive damage to its aluminum siding.
There were no reported injuries. Damage is estimated at $200,000.
The couple is now living with Andreja, who lives nearby.
The family has house insurance, she confirmed.
Rozankovic and some friends had nearly completed extensive renovations on the house when the fire hit.
“It was a small two-bedroom bungalow. Over the years, my dad and his friends built an addition, a coach room, put stucco on the outside of the house. He did everything by his own hands. That’s what makes this so tragic. Everything was almost done, and now everything is gone,” Andreja said, thanking friends and neighbours for their support in the wake of the fire.
Compounding the family’s grief is the fact they have lost everything for the third time in their lives.
“They had everything in Croatia, but lost it in the war,” Andreja explained. “Then they went to Germany and lost everything there. In 1999, they came to Canada and now they’ve lost everything here.”