Toronto father, two kids killed in house fire
A Toronto father and his two young children are dead after a two-alarm fire broke out at the family's west-end home early Saturday morning.
Cameron Stuart, 44, his five-year-old daughter Mackenzie and four-year-old son Arthur were found dead in the top floor bedroom.
The man's 29- year-old wife Loretta, and the couple's third child, two-year-old Tara, managed to escape the blaze. They were taken to hospital with what police believed to be non-life-threatening injuries.
The fire erupted at about 4 a.m. at 362 Caledonia Rd., near Eglinton Avenue.
Police were initially called to a house a few doors from the home before they found the correct address. Officers were the first emergency officials on scene, and tried to battle the flames with extinguishers, but the attempts had no effect.
After fire crews doused the flames, paramedics pronounced the father and the two children dead at the scene.
Next-door neighbour Carlos Dias was awoken by a woman screaming that her house was on fire.
"She was desperate, she was screaming for help," Dias said. "There was nothing she could do either."
Neighbour Marco Coelho said the mother suffered facial burns after fleeing the house, and tried to re-enter the house, but couldn't because of the flames.
The family rented the home from a non-profit agency. The manager of the agency said there were smoke alarms on each floor, and the devices were working when they were tested in November.
However, neither police nor fire officials heard the alarms sounding.
Deputy Fire Chief Frank Lamie said if the home was equipped with a sprinkler, it might have prevented the tragic deaths.
"This is another prime example that residential sprinklers would have controlled this fire and certainly made the outcome better than it is," Lamie told reporters.
"The property is 50 years old, approximately, but sprinklers have been in use for about 120 years, so if they were installed in residences that far back, this tragedy probably could have been prevented."
Investigators from the Ontario Fire Marshal's are investigating the cause of the blaze.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Austin Delaney