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East York people, places, events & insights

Community rallies to help family left homeless by fire

FIre destroyed the roof of Coxwell Ave. semi-detached on March 31.

Fire destroyed the roof of Coxwell Ave. semi-detached on March 31.

East York residents have today started pitching in to help a family of five left homeless after a March 31 fire on Coxwell Ave. just south of Danforth that destroyed all of their belongings.

Nearly $1,000 has been raised in about 8 hours through social media to help Mike Rogers and his wife and three kids between the ages of two and 7 who lived adjacent to the home where the fire began.

The Friday late-afternoon two-alarm fire that involved several Toronto Fire Department vehicles destroyed the roof of the building containing two semi-detached units on Coxwell across from Earl Haig Junior Public School, which the oldest two children attend.

Residents were forced to evacuate without being able to take anything with them and between the fire, smoke and water damage it’s estimated that at least 80% of their personal belongings have been destroyed, a relative of Mr. Rogers posted on social media.

The family, which the relative said had no tenants’ insurance, was staying with relatives and in desperate straits with no idea when or even whether they will be able to return to the unit.

A campaign that was set up earlier today has raised $990 of a $5,000 goal so far.  And the organizer of the Danforth & Woodbine Community group on Facebook, Michael Rusek, has offered to “pass the hat” for donations when the group holds a social get-together on Wednesday.

A family friend who posted about their plight on Facebook is also hoping people can donate gift cards or purchase points rather than specific items, since they currently have nowhere to store anything but will need to replace most household appliances, clothing, etc., once they are relocated.  She can be contacted via email at

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