Man, wife and two sons killed in East Gwillimbury house fire

Posted: March 30, 2013 by Rizwan Riyad in News, world
Tags: , , , , ,
East Gwillimbury rocked by deadly house fire

East Gwillimbury rocked by deadly house fire

A mother and father and two of their sons huddled together in a bedroom shortly before sunrise on Good Friday, waiting to be rescued from their burning home in this village north of Newmarket.

But tragically emergency crews were unable to reach the family through the smoke and flames and all four died.

“They were honestly just the best family. I can’t even begin to explain how many people are devastated over this,” Ashley Bailey said as she wiped tears from her cheeks.

The 16-year-old is just one the many neighbours who waited throughout the morning on Howard Ave., near Leslie St. and Mt. Albert Rd., to find out if anyone survived the deadly blaze.

They knew at least one family member of the family of five had been killed in the fire, but everyone was stunned when York Regional Police confirmed around 11 a.m. that four people had perished.

East Gwillumbury Emergency Services Deputy Chief Phil Dawson and York Regional Police

East Gwillumbury Emergency Services Deputy Chief Phil Dawson and York Regional Police

Const. Blair McQuillan confirmed a 911 call was placed from inside the home around 5:30 a.m.

“Police were the first to arrive on scene,” he said. “The home was on fire and the four occupants in a room at the front of the house were unable to get out.”

Despite their best efforts, McQuillan said neither officers nor fire fighters, who arrived soon after, were able to get upstairs to the family.

“The four individuals succumbed to their injuries inside,” he said.

Bailey said she played hockey with the youngest son, Cameron, believed to be 16 or 17, and she became close to his mom through her many visits to the family’s home.

“I called Jennifer mom,” the teen said, adding the woman had recently suffered a stroke.

“It was a miracle that she was alive from it, so this happening…” Bailey said, unable to continue as she became overwhelmed with grief.

Cameron’s brother, Robert, 18 or 19, also died in the fire.

Their eldest brother, David, 24, is believed to have been away from home studying at Brock University in St. Catharines.

East Gwillimbury Mayor Virginia Hackson, who stopped by the scene, said the tragedy will no doubt hit the tight-knit community hard.

“It’s a very difficult day for us as we mourn the loss of four residents,” she said. “It’s a very sad day.”

“Our prayers and thoughts go out to our community, to our fire fighters and to all the family that have had this loss today,” said Hackson, who knew the Dunsmuir family personally.

“It’s a close community and we’ll work together to stay close,” the mayor added. “But it’s a very difficult time at this point.”

The Ontario Fire Marshal’s office is probing the fire and spokesman Scott Evenden said it’s too soon to know what started the blaze or why the family was unable to exit the two-story brick home.

Area residents are in shock after learning a family of four was killed in an early morning house fire Frida

Area residents are in shock after learning a family of four was killed in an early morning house fire Friday.

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