East York fire kills apartment dweller

Debris in front of an East York apartment building, where a man died in a fire Thursday night. (ALISSA_FIREPIC2E)

A man died during an apartment fire at 1260 Broadview Ave., near O’Connor Drive, Thursday night.

A neighbour, Mike Dolbaczulcbo, 56, said when he realized what was wrong he immediately ran into the building to find any victims, before the fire got worse. A man was eventually found in a second-floor unit; he was without vital signs and later pronounced dead in hospital.

Margaret Dolbaczulcbo, 60, said that she and her husband had briefly known the man. She said that she frequently saw him smoking in front of the building.

She said that evening she heard noises outside of her house. She noticed a woman in front of the apartment building. She said she thought the woman was panicking on her cell phone.

Mike Dolbaczulcbo said he went outside to investigate.

“I was wondering what was wrong with the lady,” he said. “She was hysterical.”

He said he heard the woman say “fire” through her accent. Seeing smoke coming from the window of the second floor, around 9 p.m., he immediately called the fire department.

“I contemplated going upstairs, but I didn’t know if I would make things worse or not by opening the door,” Mike Dolbaczulcbo said.

The couple said it took about 15 minutes for firefighters find the victim. Paramedics tried to resuscitate him on the sidewalk at the scene.

“His body was limp; there was no movement,” Mike Dolbaczulcbo said.

Another neighbour across the street, Alesha Breckenridge, 32, watched the scene from the window with her husband. She said that she saw the body of the man being pulled out and that his body was ash-covered.

“I saw the smoke; it was pretty scary,” Breckenridge said.