Two homeowners charged with negligence after house fire took the life of UTSC student

First-year student Naiqi Helen Guo killed, three others escaped

Two homeowners charged with negligence after house fire took the life of UTSC student

Four months after the house fire that took the life of UTSC student Naiqi Helen Guo and injured one other woman, Toronto Police have charged two landlords with negligence.

Guo was an 18-year-old first-year student pursuing a degree in Management and had come to Canada by way of Hebei Province in China.

Her body was found in a second-floor bedroom in the home she shared with three other U of T students at 10 Haida Court, near Ellesmere Road and Military Trail.

The fire occurred around 2:30 am on May 10.

Weisong Zhou, 47, and Yu Jing, 45, both of Toronto, turned themselves into police on August 31.

They each face nine counts of arson by negligence, one count of criminal negligence causing death, and one count of criminal negligence cause bodily harm.

Police allege that the two failed to provide proper fire protection and safety for their tenants.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The couple own six properties around UTSC. The day after the house fire, they evicted tenants at two properties without notice.

A Toronto Star investigation found that at least one of their properties is in an unsafe condition.

UTSC has long had a history of students living in dangerous but inexpensive housing, due to the pronounced shortage of dorms on campus.

Scarborough house fire victim identified as first-year Management student

Naiqi Helen Guo was an international student from China

Scarborough house fire victim identified as first-year Management student

The victim of a house fire in Scarborough Wednesday morning has been identified by friends as Naiqi Helen Guo, an 18-year-old student at UTSC.

According to her Facebook profile, Guo was a first-year student pursuing a degree in Management, and had come to Canada by way of Hebei Province in China.

“We are sending out our deepest condolences and utmost support to the friends and family of those affected,” read a statement from the Scarborough Campus Students’ Union executive. “During this difficult time, it is important to support and check-in on one another as a community.”

A fire broke out at a Haida Court house next to UTSC around 2:30 am on Wednesday. Three occupants — one woman and two men — were able to escape the blaze and were treated at a hospital for their injuries.

All four occupants were international students from China.

The initial investigation concluded that there was no second exit in the basement — a violation of the Ontario fire code, according to Toronto Fire deputy chief Jim Jessop.

Toronto Fire is continuing their investigation over the next couple of days.

U of T student dead after house fire in Scarborough

Three other injured are also students

U of T student dead after house fire in Scarborough

A University of Toronto student has died following an early morning house fire in Scarborough on Wednesday.

At around 2:30 am, a fire broke out at a house at Haida Court near Lash Court, right next door to UTSC.

Three occupants — one woman and two men — were able to escape the blaze and were brought to the hospital. The woman sustained severe burns, while the men were treated for smoke inhalation.

The fourth occupant, an 18-year-old woman, was found dead on the second floor of the house. All four people are international students from China, U of T spokesperson Michael Kurts confirmed in an interview with CP24.

“This breaks my heart to see this,” said Toronto Fire chief Matthew Pegg. “Despite all of our best efforts, and all the efforts our crews will always make to do their very, very best to effect a rescue, unfortunately we just weren’t able to get in given the conditions that were here.”

“This is a terrible tragedy,” said U of T Vice-President and UTSC Principal Bruce Kidd. “The thoughts of the entire campus community are with the family of the student who was killed in the fire and with the three other students who were in the house.”

The cause of the fire has yet to be determined. Toronto Fire is investigating the incident and will be on the scene for further updates.