Major crimes unit investigating after Oshawa fire deemed a homicide

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Durham Police now searching for clues after Oshawa fire deemed a homicide
WATCH ABOVE: Durham’s Major Crime Unit is now on the scene following a fatal house fire this week. The blaze is now being deemed a homicide after a post-mortem examination found the victim with severe signs of trauma. Frazer Snowdon has more – Mar 8, 2023

Durham police are now calling a fatal fire in Oshawa a homicide.

On Monday, emergency crews discovered a body in a home under suspicious circumstances.

Sgt. Joanne Bortoluss says following a post-mortem examination, they believe there was evidence indicative of a homicide.

“Due to that, it revealed the victim suffered trauma to the body and homicide has now taken over the investigation,” said Bortoluss.

It was around 10 a.m. that Durham police were called to the scene at a home on Court Street to assist with a fatal fire.

The person is now the fifth homicide in the region this year. Police have not released the age or gender of the victim. They also haven’t indicated exactly how the victim died or if they were killed before or after the fire. Bortoluss says that’s all part of the investigation.

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“That information we don’t have quite yet,” she says. “This investigation is obviously very active still. And the timeline leading up to this event is what the unit will be looking at.”

The cause of the fire is still being investigated. The Ontario fire marshal’s office says the fire is “suspicious” in nature.

Firefighters were able to put out the blaze quickly, and at the time, the chief said it appears to have started in several spots.

Officials would not indicate if an accelerant was used to start the fire.

Durham police say it’s a complicated investigation with many steps.

“It’s going to involve the OFM and our homicide unit,” says Bortoluss.

“This is going to be extensive and it is in its infancy. They are still trying to determine what occurred and what led up to this.”

Given that the incident happened in broad daylight, near the downtown, police are hoping someone might have seen something.

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Bortoluss is asking anyone with information to come forward – no matter how small a detail they might have.

“Even if they think maybe it wasn’t suspicious, but now it is, knowing there was a fire there.

“Every witness is important in this type of investigation. If they think it’s minimal, come to police and let them decipher if it is or not.”

If you have any information you’re asked to contact Det. McDermott in the major crimes homicide unit at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 5411.

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