Two adults, two children killed in Oshawa house fire; 3 others in hospital

Two adults, two children killed in Oshawa house fire; 3 others in hospital

OSHAWA, Ont. — The sound of a blast followed by frantic cries for help rang out Monday morning as a fire tore through a home, claiming the lives of two adults and two children east of Toronto.

A man, a woman, a boy and a girl died in the blaze in Oshawa, Ont., the city’s fire chief said, and three other people in the house that was divided into apartments were taken to hospital with injuries.

“This is a tragic event,” said Fire Chief Derrick Clark. “I want to offer my sincere condolences to the families, all the families involved in this.”

Laura Green, who could see the burned home from her backyard, said she was outside smoking with her husband when the fire broke out.

“We heard a big bang and … saw a flash and people coming out of the house screaming ‘fire’ in a total panic,” Green said. “We saw the whole thing go up in flames. It was horrific.”

Green said she is on friendly terms with a couple — a boyfriend and girlfriend — who live in the back of the burned home. She was not sure if either was harmed in the blaze.

“I know that (the boyfriend) ran in when one of his friends was screaming, ‘my child,’” Green said. “I don’t know if he came back out.”

A woman working at a nearby convenience store, CW FoodMart, said when she got to work, the home two doors down was on fire with smoke billowing out and flames shooting through the top floor.

She said residents of the home often shopped at the store, including two children and their mother.

“It’s very sad, very sad,” said Elena, who didn’t want to provide her last name.

The names of those killed in the fire aren’t being released until police have confirmed their identities with next-of-kin.

The blaze was reported a little after 8 a.m. and firefighters arrived to find heavy smoke and flames that had to be fought from the outside before crews could attempt to rescue those trapped inside.

At one point, fire crews had to pull back as conditions worsened before regrouping and resuming their search and rescue efforts, Clark said.

“The firefighters made several heroic attempts to get in and get to the upper levels and they were pushed back,” Clark said. “They fought their way up through intense heat and smoke conditions … and after retreating, they forced their way back in again.”

Firefighters were ultimately only able to pull one person, the boy, out of the flaming house, but he was pronounced dead at hospital, Clark said. The bodies of the others killed in the fire remained in the home Monday afternoon.

Clark also noted that the blaze broke out in the middle of a significant snowfall.

“This fire was at the height the snow storm this morning,” he said. “Very difficult conditions, both for crews driving en route here as well as fighting this fire.”

The brown brick house, officially classified as having two storeys plus a loft, was divided into a number of apartments, Clark said.

About a one-block area around the house was cordoned off with yellow tape, as fire officials examined the site. Large rectangular holes could be seen in the roof of the house. Several windows at the front, side and back of the house were completely knocked out and black, scorched interior walls could be seen from outside.

Clark said he could not confirm whether there had been an explosion at the house, but said there was speculation that the blast heard could have been related to windows blowing out during the fire.

“The windows letting go and oxygen entering the atmosphere could have produced that similar type of sound as an explosion,” he said.

The cause of the fire wasn’t yet known, but damage was most extensive at the rear of the building, Clark said. Whether the home had working smoke detectors would be part of the investigation into the blaze, he added.

“We don’t have any information yet on cause or determination of how this fire got going,” Clark said. ”That will be part of the investigation over the next three or four days.”

Ontario’s Office of the Fire Marshal will be working with local officials to investigate the blaze.

fireOshawa

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer now has 911 active COVID-19 cases

Central zone has 2,917 active cases

An anti-lockdown protest went ahead outside a café in central Alberta on Saturday, despite pouring rain and a pre-emptive court injunction. (Photo by The Canadian Press)
Anti-restriction protest underway in central Alberta despite injunction

A large crowd has gathered in the parking lot of the Whistle… Continue reading

Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre's expansion project is still a high priority, says Alberta Infrastructure Minister Prasad Panda. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer hospital ICU admissions stable, but rising, says surgeon

The Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre’s intensive care unit is in better… Continue reading

Alberta recorded a single-day record of over 57,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered. (Photo courtesy Alberta Health Services Twitter)
Alberta hits daily record of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered

Central zone has administered 111,735 doses of the COVID-19

FILE - A firefighter wears a mask as he drives his truck. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward, File
VIDEO: Flames rip through Edmonton-area seniors complex, but no fatalities

ST. ALBERT, Alta. — Fire has destroyed part of a retirement complex… Continue reading

Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, is setting off a social media reaction with his calls to stop non essential shopping, such as "buying sandals at Costco", with this photo of his worn sandals, which he published to social media on Saturday, May 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Dr. Robert Strang, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Nova Scotia’s top doctor sparks meme with caution on non-essential shopping

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia’s top doctor has launched a social media meme… Continue reading

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. Canada's chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Tam warns that full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Canada’s chief public health officer reminded Canadians on Saturday that even those… Continue reading

Carolina Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour conducts drills during NHL hockey training camp in Morrisville, N.C., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
NHL relaxing virus protocols for vaccinated playoff teams

The NHL is relaxing virus protocols for teams that reach a threshold… Continue reading

Canada skip Kerri Einarson directs her teammates against Sweden in a qualification game at the Women's World Curling Championship in Calgary, Alta., Saturday, May 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Canada’s Einarson eliminated at curling worlds after 8-3 loss to Sweden’s Hasselborg

CALGARY — Canada’s Kerri Einarson was eliminated at the world women’s curling… Continue reading

Jennifer Coffman, owner of Truffle Pigs in Field, B.C., poses beside her business sign on Thursday, May 6, 2021, in this handout photo. Her restaurant and lodge have been hit hard by a closure of a section of the Trans-Canada Highway and by the British Columbia government discouraging Alberta residents from visiting during the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jennifer Coffman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘Why we survive’: B.C. boundary towns struggle without Albertans during pandemic

Jennifer Coffman didn’t expect to get hit with a double whammy at… Continue reading

A courtroom at the Edmonton Law Courts building, in Edmonton on Friday, June 28, 2019. The effect of the coronavirus pandemic will have a lasting impact on the Canadian justice system warn a number of legal experts. The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench announced Sunday it would adjourn all scheduled trials across the province for at least 10-weeks limiting hearings to only emergency or urgent matters. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton mother found guilty of manslaughter in death of five-year-old girl

EDMONTON — An Edmonton woman was found guilty Friday of manslaughter in… Continue reading

A Statistics Canada 2016 Census mailer sits on the key board of a laptop after arriving in the mail at a residence in Ottawa, May 2, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Statistics Canada sees more demand to fill out census online during pandemic

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says the response to the census is higher… Continue reading

Travellers, who are not affected by new quarantine rules, arrive at Terminal 3 at Pearson Airport in Toronto, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. Ottawa will create a new digital platform to help in processing immigration applications more quickly and efficiently after COVID-19 pandemic underscored the need for a faster shift to a digital immigration system, the immigration department said. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ottawa to create new system to tackle delays in processing immigration applications

Ottawa says it will create a new digital platform to help process… Continue reading

Most Read