A house fire on the south mountain has left four persons dead including two children which witnesses say were under the age of 10. The blaze broke out some time around 11 pm Thursday at a townhouse on Derby Street in the Rymal-Upper Gage area.
When the first crew arrived, they saw a center unit in a row of town houses fully involved with heavy smoke and fire visible from both the front and rear of the unit. The alarm was immediately upgraded to a second alarm, bringing resources from across the city to assist. The first arriving crews were also advised that there were people trapped on the second floor of the involved unit. Neighbours told CHCH they could see one of the victims at an upper floor window and could hear children screaming. Crews quickly initiated aggressive interior search and rescue/firefighting operations from both the front and rear of the unit. Given the conditions present, the incident was upgraded to a 3rd alarm. Crews advancing to the second floor encountered heavy smoke and high heat. During search and rescue operations 4 people were found on the second floor by firefighters and were quickly removed. Firefighters along with Paramedics began life saving measures on all four people prior to their being transported to hospital. Life saving measures continued at the hospital but all four – 2 adults and 2 children succumbed to their injuries. The fire was quickly brought under control. The Office of the Fire Marshal has been notified and will be responding to assist with the investigation. The cause and dollar loss is still to be determined. Residents who were evacuated from the adjacent units have been allowed back in to their units.
Could such a horror happen in a dwelling with functional smoke alarms?
I am concerned about the long-life smoke alarm I bought a few months back. Burned something in the oven making lots of smoke ten feet away and it didn’t go off.
Middle of the night a few days later, it went off for no apparent reason.
I can’t afford to keep replacing them and no idea how to know if it even works.