Today in fire history: residential high-rise fire kills six

Blog Post created by ryan.quinn Employee on Jan 6, 2012

Early in the morning of January 6, 1995 a fire in a North York, Ontario residential high-rise building resulted in the deaths of six residents.  All were found on upper stories in exit stairways.  The fire appeared to have been ignited by the improper disposal of smoking materials.   After unsuccessfully attempting to extinguish the fire, the occupant in the apartment of fire origin left without closing the dwelling unit door to the corridor. 

The following were found to be significant factors contributing to the loss of life in this incident

  • Lack of automatic sprinkler protection
  • Lack of door self-closing devices on apartment entrance doors
  • Vertical smoke movement due to stack effect
  • Staff who were not trained with respect to managing fire emergencies in the building for which they were responsible
  • Lack of fire safety training for building residents
  • Voice communication equipment that could not transmit messages that were understood by residents

NFPA members can download the full investigation report, and all site visitors can download a summary in English or Spanish.  NFPA also has a report regarding fires in high rises that is available to all site visitors: