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Investigation continues into Thornhill fire that left 2 dead

Officials continue to investigate a fire in the basement of a house that left two people dead in Thornhill Saturday evening, saying that it is unclear if the home’s smoke alarms were working.

Crews were called to a residents on Conley Street, near Steeles Avenue West and Dufferin Street, shortly after 7:30 p.m.

By the time they arrived, the lower level of the building was engulfed in heavy smoke and flames were erupting from the back of the home.

Officials say it took crews an hour to knock the fire down.

Two people, a man and woman believed to be in their 40s, were pulled out of the home and pronounced dead at the scene.

Two other individuals were able to get out of the building after seeing smoke come through the ventilation ducts, Vaughan Deputy Fire Chief Mike Doyle told CP24 on Sunday.

“There’s a question right now whether there were working smoke alarms. That’s under investigation,” he added, noting they have received “conflicting information” since Saturday about whether or not the alarms were sounding at the time of the blaze.

Officers investigate a fatal basement fire in Thornhill on Jan. 7, 2024.

A neighbour told CP24 that a Good Samaritan walking his dog knocked on the door to notify the family that smoke was coming from the basement. This man, the neighbour said, then went inside the home to help get an elderly woman out of the house while another person held on to his dog outside.

The Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office, in collaboration with Vaughan Fire Services and York Regional Police, continue to investigate the incident.

Doyle said it is still too early to know the cause of the fire or what factors the smoke alarms played in the fatalities.

“No stone gets left unturned and we’ll find out what happened,” he said.

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