Couple escapes house fire

The smell of smoke and burnt furniture lingered along the west end of Fulton Avenue near Broadview Avenue last week, as residents stood stricken after a fire gutted two homes. Eighteen firefighting units responded to a call that came in just after midnight last Friday.
Frank DeLisi and his wife were asleep, but suddenly awoke when their smoke detectors went off.
“All I saw was smoke,” DeLisi said. “I called 911 right away, opened up all the windows and ran outside.”
All DeLisi could do was stand by and watch as his home, which he’s lived in since 1949, turned into a cloud of black smoke.
Fifty-four firefighters hosed down the fire, but not before it took the two homes.
Toronto Fire Services Captain Mike Strapko said the initial fire actually started in the semi-detached home next to DeLisi’s.
“A propane torch ignited a structural member in the washroom on the upper floor on 13 Fulton Avenue,” Strapko said. “A fire in the attic spread to the next house.”
Strapko said the damage to DeLisi’s home came from exposure to the neighbouring fire.
With a giant blue dumpster in the driveway, the owners of 13 Fulton Ave. weren’t home at the time of the fire. The house was vacant because of renovations going on inside.
Although DeLisi’s house filled with smoke, according to son Paul DeLisi, water caused the most damage to the inside of his father’s home. But he’s still thankful for his father’s sake that the fire didn’t penetrate the walls.
DeLisi’s home suffered $50,000 in damage, while his semi-detached neighbour suffered $25,000 in damage.
DeLisi and his wife are staying with Paul until their home is returned to a livable state.