Three people dead following house fire in Whitby
Published Sunday, April 29, 2012 7:32PM EDT
An early morning house fire east of Toronto has resulted in the deaths of three people.
Police were alerted to the blaze on Dundas Street West in Whitby shortly after midnight.
Fire crews found three individuals, who police believe are two men and a woman in their 20s, inside the home without vital signs.
All three victims were transported to hospital where they succumbed to their injuries shortly after and were pronounced dead, police say.
The identities of the victims will not be released until police notify their families, according to a spokesperson with Durham Regional Police.
Meanwhile, fire officials say an investigation into the cause of the blaze is in its early stages and it's too early to determine a cause.
It took about 30 minutes for firefighters to extinguish the blaze, police said.
Officials said the home was divided into several different apartments but was not a rooming house.
A tenant who was not home when the fire broke out said one of the victims lived in an upstairs unit.
"It's pretty confined up there," said Carly, who did not give her last name. "There's just one very narrow set of stairs getting in and out of the apartment and that's it."
Fire Chief Michael Gerrard said the unusual layout of the home hindered rescuers.
"It made things a little tight for the firefighters…things were a little bit slower than they would have been in a normal structure," he told CP24 on Sunday.
Police believe it is the victims who placed the call to 911 operators, added Gerrard.
An investigation is underway and it will explore whether there were smoke alarms in the home and why the victims weren't able to escape, he said.