Crews are working to find the body of a 12-year-old boy believed to have been inside a burnt-out house in Markham where an explosion and fire occurred on Sunday morning.
Witnesses reported hearing a loud bang coming from a townhouse in the area of Bur Oak Avenue and Kennedy Road at around 10 a.m. A fire subsequently broke out at the residence and spread to adjacent homes.
Police say a woman, who is identified by family members as Chia Hamid, and two of her sons, Ahmed, 14, and Zheer, 6, were able to escape the fire. They are now in hospital with serious injuries.
After the fire was brought under control, emergency crews learned that another son, 12-year-old Aran Hamid, had not been located.
Crews are working to make the building safe enough to enter and attempt to locate the boy. Supervisor Jeff Tebby of the Ontraio Fire Marshall’s office said the body of the missing child is believed to be in the basement.
“It will be a systematic, detailed search of the basement once we get in there, removing debris with the heavy equipment and then digging, raking, sifting by hand.”
He said after doing work at the back of the residence to access a gas line, crews have now moved to the front of the townhouse.
“We are now transitioning to the front to begin demolition of the units adjacent to the unit of origin so that we can safely get into the basement and go through the basement to look for the victim and conduct our origin and cause investigation,” he said.