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Fire damages Kurt Browning's Toronto mansion Add to ...

A fire that ripped through figure skater Kurt Browning's mansion Wednesday and destroyed part of the roof may have caused up to $1-million in damage, officials said.

Dozens of firefighters battled the three-alarm blaze that broke out at the home in the upscale Forest Hill neighbourhood just before 11 a.m.

It was deemed under control around 2 p.m., but left behind serious damage to the house and a partially collapsed roof.

It's not known what caused the fire, but moments before, a man believed to be Mr. Browning was trying to dry the seats of his convertible when the fire started, a fire official said.

"He was using a leaf blower to try to get some air flowing through there to dry them out and when he returned he found the car in flames," Toronto Fire Services Division Commander Bob O'Hallarn said at the scene.

Captain Mike Strapko said fire officials won't know for sure what caused the blaze until a proper investigation is complete.

In a statement from the family, Mr. Browning said he, his wife Sonia Rodriguez - a principal dancer with the National Ballet of Canada - and their two boys are grateful that no one was injured.

"We (are) all really very fortunate that we are all safe after today's fire at our home. Thanks to everyone for your tremendous support," Mr. Browning said in the statement.

"We also want to thank the firefighters and emergency workers who arrived at the house to fight the fire. They are all amazing professionals."

Capt. Strapko said the fire originated in the garage of the older, century home, which has a three-storey addition on the back.

The fire worked its way up to the second and third floors of the home and then onto the roof.

"There is partial structural collapse in the roof area," Capt. Strapko said.

Eighteen fire trucks and about 80 firefighters were on scene at the height of the blaze.

"There appears to be a fair amount of damage on the ground floor, and the second floor on the southern part of the property," Capt. Strapko said.

"I don't know the dollar loss yet," he said, adding it was probably going to be anywhere from hundreds of thousands dollars to $1-million.

Mr. Browning is a Canadian figure skating legend who has won world championships and Canadian championships.

He is the co-host of the CBC's hit reality show Battle of the Blades, which begins its new season on Sept. 26.

 

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