High-rise fire has 1,200 seeking shelter

Sept. 26, 2010 at 4:29 PM

TORONTO, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- About 1,200 people forced from their homes by an intense high-rise fire in Toronto are uncertain about when they could return home, officials say.

"This building will be shut down for a while even in the good-news scenario, so we need to help people find other accommodations," Toronto Mayor David Miller told CBC News Saturday.

"Toronto Community Housing is working with the private sector in trying to ensure that all the people here have a place to live. That's our immediate goal," Miller said.

The blaze that started on the 24th floor of a 30-story building Friday afternoon in the St. James Town neighborhood sent 14 people, including three children, to the hospital.

"This is probably as ferocious an apartment fire as I've ever seen," Toronto Fire Chief Bill Stewart told reporters Saturday.

Ontario fire officials have not determined the origin of the blaze.

It occurred in a neighborhood which is part of Toronto Community Housing, Canada's largest social housing provider, CBC News reported.

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