The Ontario Fire Marshal (OFM) has concluded that careless smoking caused the fire that killed 3 adults and seriously injured a child on February 14th.
The blaze started in the living room on the upper level of the semi-detached backsplit on Madison Street, said Rick Derstroff, the Supervisor for Fire Investigations.
“There was no working or functioning smoke alarm, so that didn’t help,” according to Derstroff.
Jyoti Kapadia, 45, her husband Iftekhar Niazi, and their oldest daughter Amina Kapadia, 18, were killed in the 4a.m. fire.
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The couple’s youngest daughter, Zoya Kapadia, 9, was rescued by Sheldon Teague, 19, who was staying at his friend’s basement apartment that night. Kapadia was transported to SickKids where she was treated for serious burns.
“Many fatal fires occur at night when everyone is asleep, so early warning is crucial to survival,” said Fire Chief Michael Clark in a statement. “The Ontario Fire Code requires working smoke alarms on every storey of the home and outside all sleeping areas. For added protection, our fire department is recommending that you also install a smoke alarm in every bedroom. Larger homes may require additional smoke alarms.”
The city also recommended additional safety guidelines.
“Pretty simple stuff could have avoided this tragedy,” Derstroff commented.
The OFM’s investigation is complete as of Wednesday morning.