Three young boys are dead after a house fire in Brampton on Thursday.
Emergency crews were called to the blaze at a townhouse complex in the area of Torbram Road and Clark Boulevard around 9:15 a.m.
“First responding officers arrived just prior to the fire department and made several valiant efforts to rescue occupants that were located inside of the residence,” Peel police Const. Akhil Mooken said.
“Tragically, three children under the age of 18 have died as a result of the injuries they sustained.”
Peel paramedics Supt. Jay Szymanski said a nine-year-old boy, 12-year-old boy, and 15-year-old boy were all taken to hospital without vital signs and later pronounced dead.
“On behalf of Peel paramedics and the Region of Peel, we do express our sincere condolences to the family. We feel for you and we all feel for everyone that’s been affected with this tragedy,” Szymanski said.
Mooken said that the victims are related.
In a tweet Thursday afternoon, the Peel District School Board said, “We are deeply saddened by the news of the three students who passed away this morning in Brampton.”
Brampton fire Chief Bill Boyes said firefighters responding to the blaze were met with heavy smoke and flames.
“We made an aggressive interior fire attack and rescued three people that unfortunately … now are confirmed to be fatalities,” he said.
He said the fire is now under control and crews are working to put out hotspots. The home suffered “significant damage” both on the exterior and interior, he said.
There is no word on what caused the blaze. An investigation is underway and the Ontario Fire Marshal has been notified.
Boyes said no one other than the three boys were rescued from the home and added that they didn’t expect to find any other victims, though a search is underway.
“At this point, we don’t have any adults in this home that we’re aware of,” he said.
Boyes said the guardians and parents of the children have been notified.
Mooken later told Global News that the mother was dropping her youngest child off at school when the blaze broke out.
Mooken noted that a 15-year-old is legally able to stay in a home with other children without adults present.
One firefighter suffered a non-serious injury and was treated by paramedics.
Boyes acknowledged the “historic actions” of responding firefighters.
“It’s a very tough day for them. They did absolutely everything they could,” he said.
Resources will be made available for the affected family, community members, and first responders, officials said.
Tim Beckett, deputy fire marshal for Ontario, said the investigation will take time.
“We’re going to be here throughout several days conducting a very methodical and very detailed investigation on what happened here,” he said.
He said his team will talk with the response crews and collect evidence.
“It’s too early, too early, right now, to even speculate on what might have happened,” he said.
Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown posted a message on Twitter expressing thanks to the first responders and condolences to those affected.
“I want to acknowledge the efforts of all the firefighters on scene who faced extremely challenging fire conditions and risked their lives to try save these three children,” he said.
“No words can adequately describe the enormity of this loss. No words do justice. Our community grieves with this Brampton family, their friends and relatives.”
Premier Doug Ford also posted a message about the blaze.
“My heart breaks for this family and the entire community affected in Brampton,” he said.
“I echo Mayor (Patrick Brown) in thanking the brave firefighters for their efforts. I understand they did everything they could. This is an absolute tragedy.”
-With files from The Canadian Press