A family was robbed of their Christmas gifts after a fire broke out in their Dupont and Dundas West streets-area home on Boxing Day.
Yet, all was not ruined when Toronto firefighters not only extinguished the blaze, but replaced the majority of the gifts they lost.
The story has “a bit of a happy ending,” for the family of 10, Toronto Fire Capt. Mike Strapko told The Villager. After speaking with the family, fire fighters from the Junction fire hall no. 423 paid a visit to the Toronto Fire Fighter Toy Drive Warehouse in Scarborough from which they replaced the damaged presents.
“The toy drive is going on right now,” said Strapko.
A retiree is stationed at the warehouse at all times, he said, while family, friends and colleagues deliver gifts and toys to shelters and hospitals – especially on Christmas Day.
“Even throughout the year, if there’s a family that has suffered a fire, if there’s children, someone will find out what their ages are,” said the fire official.
Fire crews were called to the townhouse at 30 Pelham Park Gardens, near Davenport Road and Osler Street, at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 26. The smoke alarms had activated so everyone escaped without injury, reported Strapko. The fire was caused by “careless discard of smoking articles.” It originated on the third floor of the home in a mattress.
“The fire was knocked down pretty quickly,” said Strapko.
By 10:13 a.m., crews had the blaze under control. The damage is estimated at $30,000. Crews from seven fire stations, including Jane and Dundas West streets, the Junction, Lambton Avenue, Dupont and Dufferin streets and Lansdowne Avenue, north of Queen Street West, responded to the call. It took as many as 45 fire fighters and 12 trucks to extinguish the two-alarm fire.
Unable to return to the house for at least several days, the family is staying with friends for the time being, said Strapko.