Peel Regional Police say five people, including three children and their parents, are dead following a devastating house fire in Brampton early Monday.
Emergency crews were called to Conestoga Drive, near Sandalwood Parkway and Kennedy Road, just after 2 a.m.
Const. Heather Cannon told reporters two of the children were initially taken by paramedics to hospital in life-threatening condition, and then died a short time later in hospital. The third child and the two adults were found dead inside the home, Cannon said.
Brampton Fire Chief Bill Boyes said they believe the ages of the children are 11, eight and six. He said the two adults who also died in the fire are the mother and father of the children.
Global News has learned the identities of the family of five through the children’s grandfather, Louie Felipa. He said his daughter Raven, her husband Nazir and their three children Layla, Jayden, and Alia all perished in the fire.
He expressed his devastation, saying he is “very broken and will never come out of this sadness.”
The grandfather also said during a renovation last summer, his daughter told him she was going to get smoke alarms put back in “soon.”
Felipa said he last spoke to his daughter on Friday. The last thing he told her was that he was “so proud” of her and “everything she had achieved.”
He said Raven’s children were her “first priority.”
Now, Felipa said his life’s goal will be to impress upon others how important it is to check the smoke alarms in their homes.
“This could have been avoided, don’t be in my place, it’s a bad place to be. This pain, I’m going to carry for the rest of my life,” he said.
Police also said one adult was transported to a trauma centre with critical injuries.
Two other adults were able to escape the house without any physical injuries. Boyes said it is believed the two escaped from the basement.
Boyes said firefighters found heavy smoke and flames at the scene when they arrived.
“They ended up performing four rescues,” Boyes said. “They did heroic and tremendous work under extremely difficult circumstances and unfortunately, we’ve had a tragic outcome here today.”
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Boyes said the fire is out but firefighters are still battling hotspots.
He reminded residents to have working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
The Office of the Fire Marshal has been called in to determine the origin, cause and circumstances of the fire.
The City of Brampton said flags at city-run facilities will be flown at half-mast on Monday in memory of the family members killed by the fire.
Meanwhile, at an unrelated press conference on a new child-care deal announced Monday in Brampton with the Ontario government and Trudeau government, Premier Doug Ford expressed his condolences.
“Before I begin, I want to express just how sad I was to learn of the tragic deaths of a family here in Peel, including the loss of three precious children,” Ford said. “And I just can’t imagine the hurt being felt by the family and friends and the entire community. You’ll be all in our prayers.”
In a statement emailed to Global News, the Peel District School Board said its communities are “deeply saddened by the news of the three students who passed away.”
“Counsellors and other support staff from the school board’s Critical Incident Response Team are available to assist students and staff during this difficult time,” the statement reads.
The board said it has also “extended support” to the school communities’ families.
“The support provided will be available to our schools and their communities for as long as it’s needed,” the board said.