Toronto Firefighter's Fall Through Floor Caught On Tape

A broken hydrant led to the injuries of three firefighters


The homeowner whose dream home was destroyed by fire Sunday night said she complained about the faulty hydrant across the street that hampered firefighters' efforts.

"We lost it all. We lost every memory that we had. Everything we worked for, we've lost," a distraught Nicole Abbott told CTV News.

Abbott, who is six months pregnant, is blaming the city for her loss because she said she reported the defective hydrant last week after seeing it bubbling up.

She said a work crew was supposed to investigate the complaint that day, but they never did.

"Where was I on their bloody list? I've lost it all," Abbott said.

Lou Digironimo, general manager of the city's water department, said they got the complaint, but it was not high on their priority list.

"We prioritize our responses on basis of emergency. The first one is a broken water main and you hear about those every day. And that is our highest priority," he said.

Abbott said she saw flames coming from car after pulling it into the garage of her home at 35 Ardmore Rd. in the upscale Forest Hill community.

Abbott, her husband and their son were evacuated from the two-storey home without injury. They had moved into the house three weeks ago.

Three firefighters were injured during their battle.

Exclusive CTV viewer video captured one firefighter falling from the second floor after flames burst through a window. He landed on a fire captain, who suffered facial injuries and was taken to hospital.

Firefighters had climbed into the second story window but had to retreat when the flames quickly spread from the first floor.

Two other firefighters suffered minor burns to the backs of their necks when sparks and burning embers rained onto them.

Fire crews were forced to use two other hydrants further down the street.

Neighbours said they reported the faulty hydrant to the city several weeks ago.

"I spoke with my neighbours, who had personally indicated they had reported the hydrant was not functioning. There had been a problem with it and they had called the city two or three weeks ago to have it fixed," said neighbour Leslie Cappe.

There are more than 44,000 hydrants in the city. Crews deal with 500 frozen hydrants each year, and the city relies on residents to keep an eye on them and report defective ones.

Crews used a steamer Monday to thaw and repair the faulty hydrant in front of the Abbott home.