A toddler died and three others were sent to hospital after a fire ripped through an East Vancouver home Thursday afternoon.
Crews were called to the scene at 3124 Nootka St. at around 3:20 p.m.
Fire Chief John McKearney says three family members were treated for serious burns and inhalation, but one child, who, Fire Chief John McKearney says, is a 2.5-year-old girl, has died.
McKearney says the probable cause of fire was two space heaters placed very close to the bed of the infant who died.
It appears the house also did not have working smoke alarms.
“This is a very sad outcome as smoke alarms are required in every occupancy,” McKearney said. “We can’t overstate that a working smoke alarm saves lives.”
He says homes should have a minimum of one smoke alarm per floor and ideally one smoke alarm in each bedroom.
McKearney says it appears only four people – a mother and her three children – were in the rental home at the time of the fire.
It appears the mother put her younger two children down for a nap when the fire broke out. She tried to rescue the children, but McKearney says the fire was too far involved and she suffered serious burns to her face and hands.
WATCH: Space heaters blamed for deadly East Vancouver house fire
McKearney says the fire has been difficult to deal with for their first responders.
Forty-five Vancouver Fire staff were on scene helping fight the fire, including a stress management team.
There were some questions raised about the response time to the incident as firefighters had to get though ice-covered neighbourhood streets to get to the fire, but McKearney says their response time was “within their standard.” He also says their fire trucks are equipped with snow chains to handle icy conditions.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family.