Two men are dead after a fire broke out at a rooming house in Kensington Market early Thursday morning, Toronto police say.
Twelve people, including children, were rescued from the three-storey building when emergency personnel arrived at the chaotic scene on St. Andrew Street, west of Spadina Avenue, at about 2 a.m.
Some of the occupants were trapped on the upper floors and they had to be rescued with a ladder.
Police officers rescued a woman and a child before fire crews arrived, a fire official told CP24.
Toronto EMS spokeswoman Kim McKinnon said paramedics transported 12 people to different hospitals.
The two men were pronounced dead and the others were being treated for non-life-threatening injuries related to smoke inhalation, McKinnon said.
Fire officials said it appears the three-alarm blaze began on the second floor and then spread to other parts of the three-storey building as the residents were asleep.
The building has restaurants on the ground floor and a cluster of small apartments on the upper floors. The apartments all share a common kitchen and bathroom, a fire official said.
The building is equipped with smoke detectors but investigators have not confirmed whether they were functioning.
The cause of the blaze is under investigation.
March has been a deadly month for fires in Toronto.
Three people died after a fire broke out in an apartment above a vacant store on Dovercourt Road, near Dupont Street, on March 7.