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Death of woman, 72, found in Toronto fire being treated as a homicide: police

Police tape.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Toronto police say they're treating the case of an elderly woman found dead after an apartment fire as a homicide.

The body of a woman who investigators believe was 72 years old was found at the scene of a blaze at a building in the city's north end on Saturday.

The coroner's office has not released a cause of death, but Det.-Sgt. Terry Browne says the woman was dead before the fire started and there were signs of trauma.

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He says the woman's identity has not been confirmed, but police believe she originated from Poland and had been living alone.

Police are looking to speak to a man who was seen on security cameras in the building shortly before a 911 call was placed.

Browne says the woman was known to police, as she was charged in 1997 and 2000 for offences relating to the sex trade.

"I have no idea whether this has anything to do with this," he said.

The woman had mobility issues and had been using a walker, Browne said. He called the case "extremely disturbing."

"Anyone in the twilight years of their life, you expect to enjoy the latter years and not have to expect to concern yourself with safety issues," he said.

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