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‘A terrifying trend’: No smoke alarms in Brampton home where fire killed mother, child

An Office of the Fire Marshal vehicle.
An Office of the Fire Marshal vehicle. OFM

No smoke alarms were found in a Brampton, Ont., home where a fire claimed the lives of a woman and child, the Ontario Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM) says.

Peel Regional Police said the fire occurred on June 3 in the Jade Crescent and Jayfield Road area.

Officers said two adults and one child were taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Ontario Fire Marshal John Pegg said officials are currently investigating the “cause, origin and circumstance of this fire.” The process is expected to take months.

However, Pegg said OFM personnel have completed the scene investigation.

Investigators determined there were no working smoke alarms on the first storey, or in the basement of the home where the family involved lived.

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“Tragically we lost a mother, and it pains me terribly to update that the child invovled in this fire has also passed,” he said. Another person remains in hospital in serious condition.

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According to Pegg, investigators did locate smoke alarms on the second and third storeys of the home.

Those alarms are being sent for testing to confirm whether they were operational at the time of the fire.

“However, once again we’re standing outside a home where a tragic fatal fire occurred with no working smoke alarms in the area where the family resided,” Pegg said. “We’ve seen this far too many times in recent days and weeks, at fires in Waterloo and Brampton among others.”

“The terrifying trend of no working smoke alarms continues in many of the fires we’re seeing across Ontario, which is concerning because we know they save lives,” he continued.

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Pegg said he has concerns that members of the public are “not taking fire safety seriously.”

He said many fires have been fatal, as this one was, and have also left people in serious condition, fighting for their lives in hospital.

“But what I’m also concerned about is the fact that our first responders on-scene are often entering these homes, risking their lives to save others when a functioning alarm and a properly planned escape would have given these individuals ample time to safely escape.”

Pegg said fires these days burn “quicker than ever.”

“With synthetic materials used in construction and furnishings, you do not have a lot of time to escape,” he said. “Although some individuals have been spared their lives, they have had to recover from the effects of the fire, and the mental impacts that being in those types of situations can cause. It’s time for this trend to come to an end.”

Brampton Fire Chief Bill Boyes offered his condolences to the friends and family of the deceased, and echoed Pegg’s comments, saying “Working smoke alarms save lives.”

“It’s such a simple concept, but it is so difficult for us to seemingly get across in our community,” he said.

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