Kensington blaze destroyed suspected illegal rooming house
According to the Star, Thursday’s three-alarm fire in Kensington Market ravaged a suspected illegal rooming house located above the Jang Su Chon Korean restaurant on St. Andrew Street. Neighbours say the building housed as many as twelve tenants, at least some of them recent immigrants from China and Vietnam. On Thursday, ten people were rescued from the blaze, with two pronounced dead.
In response, Councillor Adam Vaughan (Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina) is calling for a bylaw regulating rooming houses, which would require licences and regular inspections by city officials. “It’s unacceptable and profoundly dangerous,” Vaughan told reporters. Yet another case in favour of more affordable (and legal) housing in Toronto. Last year, a report indicated that 73,000 Torontonians were on Ontario’s affordable housing wait list, proof positive of the “the market inability to address affordability challenges.”
The exact cause of the fire is currently under investigation.