January 12, 2018 12:44 pm
Updated: January 15, 2018 3:32 pm

Neighbours in shock over fatal house fire in Brighton

Neighbours talk about an elderly couple who died in a morning house fire in Brighton, Ont.

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Investigators continue to sift through the debris of a house in Brighton after a fire Wednesday left two people dead.

Police have still not released the victims’ names but it’s believed they were an elderly couple who were renting the small home on Harbour Street.

And neighbours including Michael and Carol French are still coming to terms with the incident.

READ MORE: Two people found dead in morning house fire in Brighton


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“At first I thought the guy was burning his garbage, cause that’s what it looked like,” said Michael French. “Then it kind of just burst into orange-red flames.”

By the time firefighters arrived around 7:15 a.m., it was too late to save anyone inside.

“I don’t know what we would have done if someone was at the window yelling for help because the smoke and the flames and the heat was just so intense,” said French.

https://twitter.com/NT_pfisher/status/951161359240220676

As forensic crews sift through what’s left of the one-storey house, neighbours remember the couple who rented the place and enjoyed going to the casino in nearby Belleville.

“Very private people, hello-goodbye,” said next-door neighbour Grant Fleming, whose home suffered heat damage. “We never were personally attached. We just talk over the fence and that was all.”

READ MORE: No working smoke alarms in Oshawa house where fire killed 4: investigator

French said the newcomers to the community often kept to themselves in their waterfront house on Presqu’ile Bay.

“We didn’t know their names but when they were out, they waved we said ‘hi,'” he said. “They haven’t been there that long, maybe six months.”

French said his grandfather built the house in 1938. The current owners, he says had installed smoke detectors but investigators haven’t confirmed that.

Fire chief Lloyd Hutchison stressed their importance.

“Working smoke alarms give you early detection that something has gone,” he said. “We recommend that you check them every month and change the battery when you hear the little chirp.

The Office of the Fire Marshal continues to investigate the cause of the fire.

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