Boy, 10, dies in fire 2:29 – CBC.ca

A devastating fire tore through a Brampton townhouse complex in the early hours of Sunday morning, claiming the life of a 10-year-old boy and leaving scores of residents without homes to return to.

An alarm activation brought firefighters to the scene at 3:19 a.m., according to Deputy Fire Chief Michael Clarke.

The situation was upgraded after the fire department received phone calls confirming the fire.

“The crew attempted to make an aggressive rapid attack but they weren’t able to make entry,” Clarke said.

At one point there were 19 trucks and about 50 firefighters on the scene, Clarke added.

Firefighters remained at the scene late into Sunday evening, dealing with remaining hot spots.

Officials say the fire started at a unit in the centre of a block of units but, because of the structure of the complex, the fire spread rapidly in both directions.

After the fire was out, Peel Regional Police Const. Lillian Fitzpatrick said it was the responding firefighters who confirmed the tragic news that a boy had died.

“When firefighters went through, they located the body of the child inside a unit,” Fitzpatrick told reporters on Sunday morning, just a few hours after the fire had started.

The boy, whom friends of the boy’s mother have identified as Nicolas Gabriel, was sleeping over at a friend’s house.

Brampton Mayor Susan Fennell had spoken to the family after they received the news of his death on Sunday.

Brampton townhouse fire

A displaced resident sits near the townhouse complex. The huge fire has destroyed or damanged 18 units and left between 80 to 100 people homeless, according to Peel Regional Police. (Michael Cole/CBC)

“Right now, they’re in shock,” she said. “I mean it’s so profound — your son is on a sleepover and somebody comes and knocks on your door and says your son is missing and then they confirm that your son has passed away in the fire. They’re in shock, they’re in disbelief.”

Fennell said the community is still healing from a prior tragedy, a shooting that left another young boy dead just over a year ago.

“To have a second tragedy of a loss of a young life is a nightmare,” she said.

‘Nothing but the clothes on their backs’

The blaze on Ardglen Drive left 18 units severely damaged or destroyed, according to police. They say between 80 and 100 people have been left homeless.

“These people had to leave in the very early morning hours with nothing but the clothes on their backs,” Fitzpatrick said.

That meant that a number of people fled for safety wearing just pyjamas or robes.

Fitzpatrick said between 200 and 300 people were evacuated from the area, though that figure included those who lived in adjacent units, along with those living in the units that burned.

Tressa Daley

Tressa Daley and her husband fled their home as fast as they could, after waking up to discover the fire that had broken out in the middle of the night. (CBC)

Tressa Daley was among the residents whose homes were destroyed. She told CBC News that she and her husband lost everything in the fire.

Daley said her husband jumped out of bed in the middle of the night. He looked out the window and told her they had to get out.

“He turned the lights on and he could see the glare from the flames coming off of the back of the building,” Daley told CBC News in an interview on Sunday.

Daley said the couple quickly threw on clothes and got moving.

‘Orange flames and lots of black smoke’

“When we went to go through the front door, the smoke was already starting to come through the front door. And we went out the back and came outside to see orange flames and lots of black smoke,” she said.

The smoke was thick and black. It was making it hard to breathe, Daley said.

Fitzpatrick said the fire has had a profound effect due to the sheer number of people involved.

“Their homes are gone and they were forced to evacuate those homes without taking anything with them,” she said. “So [for] the people that are involved and for their families, this has been a devastating, devastating fire.”

Fitzpatrick said that residents have been supporting one another since they first learned of the fire. Some knocked door to door to get their neighbours out.

Peel Regional Police Const. Lillian Fitzpatrick

Peel Regional Police Const. Lillian Fitzpatrick said that the people living in the Ardglen Drive townhouse complex were forced to flee their homes, in the middle of the night, with ‘nothing but the clothes on their backs.’ (CBC)

“They have that common bond that … they know exactly where they stand at this point and it’s bringing them together,” she said.

The fire is being investigated by the coroner, by police and by the Ontario Fire Marshal’s office.

Food and clothing donations have been pouring in to help out those left without a home on Sunday night.

Alain Normand, the emergency manager for the City of Brampton, said it was great to see that the community could pull together in a time of need.

But the city said the most critical need is for cash donations.

Most of the people who have been displaced are believed to be staying with family on Sunday evening. But some will close out the weekend sleeping in a shelter.

Authorities will be working with each family to relocate them for the short and long-term.

“Some have insurance, some don’t. Some lost everything, some didn’t. So we have to do a systematic valuation, family by family … so we can provide them with the help that is really required,” Normand said.

Details

‘He was my baby': Boy, 10, killed in massive fire at Ontario housing complex – CTV News

Josh Elliott and Rubab Abid, CTV Toronto
Published Sunday, June 8, 2014 7:34AM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, June 8, 2014 8:31PM EDT

A young boy is dead and nearly 100 residents have lost their homes after a massive fire broke out at a townhouse complex in Brampton, Ont. early Sunday morning.

Police say 10-year-old Nicolas Gabriel was staying at a friend’s house when fire ripped through a townhouse complex on Ardglen Drive, near Kennedy Road South and Clarence Avenue, at around 3:15 a.m.

Fire officials say Nicolas was reported missing after the family he was staying with escaped the blaze and were unable to locate the boy.

Firefighters found Nicolas’ body in a second-floor bedroom while working to extinguish hotspots in the gutted complex.

Kelly Gabriel, Nicolas’ mother, fought back tears as she remembered her young son.

“He was a fun loving boy, loved his video games, always had to have is PlayStation after school,” Gabriel told CP24 Sunday afternoon.

“He was my baby,” she said.

Gabriel, who also has two other children, said her family is struggling to come to terms with the loss.

“My 14-year-old and six-year-old are not holding up very well. My six-year-old is saying ‘I want Nicholas to come back.’ My 14 year old daughter is blaming herself because they fought. “

Police say an estimated 18 housing units were badly damaged or completely destroyed, leaving an estimated 80 to100 people without homes.

“These people had to leave in the very early morning hours with nothing but the clothes on their backs,” Fitzpatrick said.

It’s believed the fire started in the kitchen of the middle townhouse and spread to neighbouring houses on both sides through a shared roof, firefighters said.

Investigators say they will wait until Monday to determine whether the buildings are structurally safe to re-enter.

Community rocked by second tragedy

Brampton Mayor Susan Fennell said the young boy’s death is a hard blow for the Ardglen community to take after the shooting death of Kesean Williams, a nine-year-old was killed while watching TV at his home in the same neighbourhood last year. That crime remains unsolved.

“This is a neighbourhood that has not healed,” Fennell said. “It’s a very tight community. There are good families living here and they deserve a good place to live, and many people have lost their homes today. They’ve lost everything.”

Residents band together to offer support

Officials say most of the people affected by the blaze have family or friends they can stay with for the night. The City of Brampton has opened up a local shelter for families without a place to go.

As news of the blaze spread across the city, hundreds of Brampton residents arrived with clothing, food and water for residents left without a home.

A local food truck also arrived near the scene, handing out hot sandwiches to the hungry.

Mayor Fennell said the North Bramalea United Church has stepped in to provide emergency relief for the displaced residents.

Anyone who wishes to donate is encouraged to contact the church’s community organization, the Journey at Ardglen, at thejourney.babs@gmail.com, or the Salvation Army.

Salvation Army staff said water and packaged food are the two most pressing needs right now, but gift cards are also welcome. Homemade food cannot be accepted.

A trust fund has also been set up for the Gabriel family.

Details

‘He was my baby': Boy, 10, killed in massive fire at Brampton housing complex – CTV News

Josh Elliott and Rubab Abid, CTV Toronto
Published Sunday, June 8, 2014 7:34AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, June 9, 2014 7:22AM EDT

A young boy is dead and nearly 100 residents have lost their homes after a massive fire broke out at a townhouse complex in Brampton, Ont. early Sunday morning.

Police say 10-year-old Nicolas Gabriel was staying at a friend’s house when fire ripped through a townhouse complex on Ardglen Drive, near Kennedy Road South and Clarence Avenue, at around 3:15 a.m.

Fire officials say Nicolas was reported missing after the family he was staying with escaped the blaze and were unable to locate the boy.

Firefighters found Nicolas’ body in a second-floor bedroom while working to extinguish hotspots in the gutted complex.

Kelly Gabriel, Nicolas’ mother, fought back tears as she remembered her young son.

“He was a fun loving boy, loved his video games, always had to have is PlayStation after school,” Gabriel told CP24 Sunday afternoon.

“He was my baby,” she said.

Gabriel, who also has two other children, said her family is struggling to come to terms with the loss.

“My 14-year-old and six-year-old are not holding up very well. My six-year-old is saying ‘I want Nicholas to come back.’ My 14 year old daughter is blaming herself because they fought. “

Police say an estimated 18 housing units were badly damaged or completely destroyed, leaving an estimated 80 to100 people without homes.

“These people had to leave in the very early morning hours with nothing but the clothes on their backs,” Fitzpatrick said.

It’s believed the fire started in the kitchen of the middle townhouse and spread to neighbouring houses on both sides through a shared roof, firefighters said.

Investigators say they will wait until Monday to determine whether the buildings are structurally safe to re-enter.

Community rocked by second tragedy

Brampton Mayor Susan Fennell said the young boy’s death is a hard blow for the Ardglen community to take after the shooting death of Kesean Williams, a nine-year-old was killed while watching TV at his home in the same neighbourhood last year. That crime remains unsolved.

“This is a neighbourhood that has not healed,” Fennell said. “It’s a very tight community. There are good families living here and they deserve a good place to live, and many people have lost their homes today. They’ve lost everything.”

Residents band together to offer support

Officials say most of the people affected by the blaze have family or friends they can stay with for the night. The City of Brampton has opened up a local shelter for families without a place to go.

As news of the blaze spread across the city, hundreds of Brampton residents arrived with clothing, food and water for residents left without a home.

A local food truck also arrived near the scene, handing out hot sandwiches to the hungry.

Mayor Fennell said the North Bramalea United Church has stepped in to provide emergency relief for the displaced residents.

Anyone who wishes to donate is encouraged to contact the church’s community organization, the Journey at Ardglen, at thejourney.babs@gmail.com, or the Salvation Army.

Salvation Army staff said water and packaged food are the two most pressing needs right now, but gift cards are also welcome. Homemade food cannot be accepted.

A trust fund has also been set up for the Gabriel family.

Details

Child dead, hundreds evacuated after Brampton townhouse fire – Globalnews.ca

TORONTO- A 10-year-old child is dead and close to a hundred are homeless after a townhouse complex in the Greater Toronto Area went up in flames early Sunday morning.

“It was a very intense fire,” said Peel Region Police Const. Lillian Fitzpatrick.

“These people had to leave in the very early morning hours with nothing but the clothes on their backs.”

The child was at the home for a sleepover, Fitzpatrick said, but his family lives in the area.

“Obviously they are completely devastated at this point,” she said of the boy’s family.

“It’s a very, very fresh wound for them. They need some time to collect themselves and deal with this horrible blow.”

Hundreds of residents had been forced to evacuate the area after a two-alarm fire broke out at a town house complex on Ardglen Drive in the city of in Brampton at around 3:15 a.m. Sunday morning.

WATCH: Residents react to Brampton town house fire

Authorities say the fire started in single town house before quickly spreading through the roof and engulfing the entire building.

Area residents were loaded onto buses and taken to a nearby Tim Horton’s. Roughly 100 have lost their homes, and as many as 300 cannot return home at this point.

Eighteen units were “profoundly damaged” in the blaze, while fire officials still have to assess the structural integrity of a number of other homes, said Fitzpatrick.

By mid morning, the fire had been knocked down, but police said it was “still active” in certain spots with smoke continuing to linger. Fire crews remained on scene.

WATCH: Fire crews have blaze under control

Those forced out of their homes were being helped by Peel Region social services and the Salvation Army. Temporary accommodation was being arranged for those who needed it.

Officials said it could still be a day or two before residents are allowed to return to homes that survived the blaze.

“It’s very difficult to say when they’ll be able to go back because for them to go back to their homes it has to be safe for them to do so,” said Fitzpatric.

“There are going to be immediate needs and social services are going to see that they are taken care of.”

The Ontario Fire Marshal’s office, Peel police and the coroner’s office are all investigating the incident.

A Facebook page seeking donations to help the people who lost their homes can be found at facebook.com/bramptonfirevictims.

With files from Jeremy Cohn/Global News in Brampton and the Canadian Press

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David Weisz

Web Coordinator

David Weisz is a digital journalist based in Toronto, Ontario. He has a strong interest in data-assisted reporting, especially when it pertains to municipal and social issues.

Details

10-year-old boy killed in massive fire at Ontario townhouse complex – CTV News

Josh Elliott, CTV Toronto
Published Sunday, June 8, 2014 7:34AM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, June 8, 2014 3:27PM EDT

A young boy is dead after a massive fire broke out early Sunday morning at a townhouse complex in the Toronto suburb of Brampton.

Ten-year-old Nicolas Gabriel was staying at a friend’s house but was unaccounted for after the friend’s family escaped from the burning building, firefighters said.

Gabriel’s family lives in a nearby townhouse and has been notified by police.

“Obviously they are completely devastated at this point,” said Const. Lilly Fitzpatrick of Peel Police.

Firefighters were called to the blaze at a complex on Ardglen Drive, near Kennedy Road South and Clarence Avenue, at about 3:15 a.m. on Sunday.

The fire took hours to extinguish. No other fire-related injuries have been reported, Peel Emergency Services said.

An estimated 18 housing units have been badly damaged or completely destroyed, according to police. The blaze has left between 80 to 100 people without homes.

Police and first responders are now considering temporary shelter options for the displaced residents. City buses are being used as short-term shelters. Firefighters said that some homes were evacuated because of heavy smoke and were not damaged.

“These people had to leave in the very early morning hours with nothing but the clothes on their backs,” Fitzpatrick said.

It’s believed the fire started in the kitchen of the middle townhouse and spread to neighbouring houses on both sides through a shared roof, firefighters said.

Investigators will wait until Monday to determine whether the buildings are structurally safe to re-enter.

Brampton Mayor Susan Fennell said Gabriel’s death is a hard blow for the Ardglen community to take after the shooting death of Kesean Williams, a nine-year-old was killed by a stray bullet in the same neighbourhood last year. That crime remains unsolved.

“This is a neighbourhood that has not healed,” Fennell said. “It’s a very tight community. There are good families living here and they deserve a good place to live, and many people have lost their homes today. They’ve lost everything.”

Fennell said the North Bramalea United Church has stepped in to provide emergency relief for the displaced residents.

Details

10-year-old boy killed in massive fire at Brampton townhouse complex – CTV News

Josh Elliott and Rubab Abid, CTV Toronto
Published Sunday, June 8, 2014 7:34AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, June 9, 2014 7:22AM EDT

A young boy is dead and nearly 100 residents have lost their homes after a massive fire broke out at a townhouse complex in Brampton, Ont. early Sunday morning.

Police say 10-year-old Nicolas Gabriel was staying at a friend’s house when fire ripped through a townhouse complex on Ardglen Drive, near Kennedy Road South and Clarence Avenue, at around 3:15 a.m.

Fire officials say Nicolas was reported missing after the family he was staying with escaped the blaze and were unable to locate the boy.

Firefighters found Nicolas’ body in a second-floor bedroom while working to extinguish hotspots in the gutted complex.

Kelly Gabriel, Nicolas’ mother, fought back tears as she remembered her young son.

“He was a fun loving boy, loved his video games, always had to have is PlayStation after school,” Gabriel told CP24 Sunday afternoon.

“He was my baby,” she said.

Gabriel, who also has two other children, said her family is struggling to come to terms with the loss.

“My 14-year-old and six-year-old are not holding up very well. My six-year-old is saying ‘I want Nicholas to come back.’ My 14 year old daughter is blaming herself because they fought. “

Police say an estimated 18 housing units were badly damaged or completely destroyed, leaving an estimated 80 to100 people without homes.

“These people had to leave in the very early morning hours with nothing but the clothes on their backs,” Fitzpatrick said.

It’s believed the fire started in the kitchen of the middle townhouse and spread to neighbouring houses on both sides through a shared roof, firefighters said.

Investigators say they will wait until Monday to determine whether the buildings are structurally safe to re-enter.

Community rocked by second tragedy

Brampton Mayor Susan Fennell said the young boy’s death is a hard blow for the Ardglen community to take after the shooting death of Kesean Williams, a nine-year-old was killed while watching TV at his home in the same neighbourhood last year. That crime remains unsolved.

“This is a neighbourhood that has not healed,” Fennell said. “It’s a very tight community. There are good families living here and they deserve a good place to live, and many people have lost their homes today. They’ve lost everything.”

Residents band together to offer support

Officials say most of the people affected by the blaze have family or friends they can stay with for the night. The City of Brampton has opened up a local shelter for families without a place to go.

As news of the blaze spread across the city, hundreds of Brampton residents arrived with clothing, food and water for residents left without a home.

A local food truck also arrived near the scene, handing out hot sandwiches to the hungry.

Mayor Fennell said the North Bramalea United Church has stepped in to provide emergency relief for the displaced residents.

Anyone who wishes to donate is encouraged to contact the church’s community organization, the Journey at Ardglen, at thejourney.babs@gmail.com, or the Salvation Army.

Salvation Army staff said water and packaged food are the two most pressing needs right now, but gift cards are also welcome. Homemade food cannot be accepted.

A trust fund has also been set up for the Gabriel family.

Details

Boy killed in massive fire at Ontario townhouse complex – CTV News

Josh Elliott, CTV Toronto
Published Sunday, June 8, 2014 7:34AM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, June 8, 2014 3:27PM EDT

A young boy is dead after a massive fire broke out early Sunday morning at a townhouse complex in the Toronto suburb of Brampton.

Ten-year-old Nicolas Gabriel was staying at a friend’s house but was unaccounted for after the friend’s family escaped from the burning building, firefighters said.

Gabriel’s family lives in a nearby townhouse and has been notified by police.

“Obviously they are completely devastated at this point,” said Const. Lilly Fitzpatrick of Peel Police.

Firefighters were called to the blaze at a complex on Ardglen Drive, near Kennedy Road South and Clarence Avenue, at about 3:15 a.m. on Sunday.

The fire took hours to extinguish. No other fire-related injuries have been reported, Peel Emergency Services said.

An estimated 18 housing units have been badly damaged or completely destroyed, according to police. The blaze has left between 80 to 100 people without homes.

Police and first responders are now considering temporary shelter options for the displaced residents. City buses are being used as short-term shelters. Firefighters said that some homes were evacuated because of heavy smoke and were not damaged.

“These people had to leave in the very early morning hours with nothing but the clothes on their backs,” Fitzpatrick said.

It’s believed the fire started in the kitchen of the middle townhouse and spread to neighbouring houses on both sides through a shared roof, firefighters said.

Investigators will wait until Monday to determine whether the buildings are structurally safe to re-enter.

Brampton Mayor Susan Fennell said Gabriel’s death is a hard blow for the Ardglen community to take after the shooting death of Kesean Williams, a nine-year-old was killed by a stray bullet in the same neighbourhood last year. That crime remains unsolved.

“This is a neighbourhood that has not healed,” Fennell said. “It’s a very tight community. There are good families living here and they deserve a good place to live, and many people have lost their homes today. They’ve lost everything.”

Fennell said the North Bramalea United Church has stepped in to provide emergency relief for the displaced residents.

Details

Brampton, Ont., townhouse fire kills boy, leaves dozens homeless – CBC.ca

A 10-year-old boy was killed and as many as 300 people had to flee their homes early Sunday after a major fire tore through a townhouse complex in Brampton, Ont.

The blaze on Ardglen Drive left 18 units severely damaged or destroyed, according to Peel Regional Police. They say between 80 and 100 people have been left homeless.

Police say the boy’s body was found inside a second-floor bedroom.

“He was having a sleepover visit,” Peel Regional Police Const. Lily Fitzpatrick said. “He lived nearby, but not in that unit.”

Brampton Mayor Susan Fannell, who met with the boy’s mother and grandfather after the fire, said the family is in shock.

“Right now everyone is surrounding and supporting the family,” she told CBC News.

The first report of the fire came in at 3:19 a.m. ET, as an alarm activation, according to Michael Clarke, deputy fire chief of Brampton Fire and Emergency Services. The situation was upgraded after the fire department received phone calls confirming the fire.

“The crew attempted to make an aggressive rapid attack but they weren’t able to make entry,” Clarke said.

At one point there were 19 trucks and about 50 firefighters on the scene, Clarke added.

Officials say the fire started at a unit in the centre of a block of units but, because of the structure of the complex, the fire spread rapidly in both directions.

“So all the people in those units had to be evacuated,” Fitzpatrick said. “It’s a fairly highly populated, condensed townhouse complex and they’re very close together.”

Fitzpatrick told CBC News that the fire was still active by Sunday morning and investigators haven’t been able to get in to determine its cause.

“We have no idea what the cause of this fire is at this point.”

‘Devastating, devastating fire’

Fitzpatrick said the fire has had a profound effect due to the sheer number of people involved.

“Their homes are gone and they were forced to evacuate those homes without taking anything with them,” she said. “So [for] the people that are involved and for their families, this has been a devastating, devastating fire.”

She added that, from what she has seen, no one was carrying any belongings when leaving the fire scene. The displaced residents only have their pets and the clothes they have on.

Brampton townhouse fire

A displaced resident sits near the townhouse complex. The huge fire has destroyed or damanged 18 units and left between 80 to 100 people homeless, according to Peel Regional Police. (Michael Cole/CBC)

Throughout the incident, residents have been providing support for each other, Fitzpatrick said. Some knocked door to door to get their neighbours out.

“They have that common bond that … they know exactly where they stand at this point and it’s bringing them together,” she said.

The investigation is still at its early stage and it may be a while before residents find out the extent of the damage, Fitzpatrick said. There will be a cool-down period once the fire is out. Investigators will then assess the structural damage before considering allowing residents to return to their homes.

Charities on site

City buses are acting as temporary shelters for residents of the complex, which is near Kennedy Road and Queen Street. Some residents have also moved to a coffee shop on Kennedy Road, Fitzpatrick said.

The Salvation Army, The Red Cross and Social Services of the Region of Peel are on scene to assist the residents.

People who would like to make donations to residents — such as cash, clothing, toiletries — can do so at the Chris Gibson Recreation Centre at 125 McLoughlin Rd. N. in Brampton.

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath issued a statement Sunday, saying she is saddened by the tragic loss of life.

“My heart goes out to the family that lost a child and to all those who have been left homeless,” the statement reads. “The community of Brampton is strong, and I have no doubt that neighbours will continue to support each other through this most difficult time.”

Details

Child killed in massive fire at Ontario townhouse complex – CTV News

Josh Elliott and Rubab Abid, CTV Toronto
Published Sunday, June 8, 2014 7:34AM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, June 8, 2014 8:31PM EDT

A young boy is dead and nearly 100 residents have lost their homes after a massive fire broke out at a townhouse complex in Brampton, Ont. early Sunday morning.

Police say 10-year-old Nicolas Gabriel was staying at a friend’s house when fire ripped through a townhouse complex on Ardglen Drive, near Kennedy Road South and Clarence Avenue, at around 3:15 a.m.

Fire officials say Nicolas was reported missing after the family he was staying with escaped the blaze and were unable to locate the boy.

Firefighters found Nicolas’ body in a second-floor bedroom while working to extinguish hotspots in the gutted complex.

Kelly Gabriel, Nicolas’ mother, fought back tears as she remembered her young son.

“He was a fun loving boy, loved his video games, always had to have is PlayStation after school,” Gabriel told CP24 Sunday afternoon.

“He was my baby,” she said.

Gabriel, who also has two other children, said her family is struggling to come to terms with the loss.

“My 14-year-old and six-year-old are not holding up very well. My six-year-old is saying ‘I want Nicholas to come back.’ My 14 year old daughter is blaming herself because they fought. “

Police say an estimated 18 housing units were badly damaged or completely destroyed, leaving an estimated 80 to100 people without homes.

“These people had to leave in the very early morning hours with nothing but the clothes on their backs,” Fitzpatrick said.

It’s believed the fire started in the kitchen of the middle townhouse and spread to neighbouring houses on both sides through a shared roof, firefighters said.

Investigators say they will wait until Monday to determine whether the buildings are structurally safe to re-enter.

Community rocked by second tragedy

Brampton Mayor Susan Fennell said the young boy’s death is a hard blow for the Ardglen community to take after the shooting death of Kesean Williams, a nine-year-old was killed while watching TV at his home in the same neighbourhood last year. That crime remains unsolved.

“This is a neighbourhood that has not healed,” Fennell said. “It’s a very tight community. There are good families living here and they deserve a good place to live, and many people have lost their homes today. They’ve lost everything.”

Residents band together to offer support

Officials say most of the people affected by the blaze have family or friends they can stay with for the night. The City of Brampton has opened up a local shelter for families without a place to go.

As news of the blaze spread across the city, hundreds of Brampton residents arrived with clothing, food and water for residents left without a home.

A local food truck also arrived near the scene, handing out hot sandwiches to the hungry.

Mayor Fennell said the North Bramalea United Church has stepped in to provide emergency relief for the displaced residents.

Anyone who wishes to donate is encouraged to contact the church’s community organization, the Journey at Ardglen, at thejourney.babs@gmail.com, or the Salvation Army.

Salvation Army staff said water and packaged food are the two most pressing needs right now, but gift cards are also welcome. Homemade food cannot be accepted.

A trust fund has also been set up for the Gabriel family.

Details

Brampton, Ont., townhouse fire kills boy, leaves several homeless – CBC.ca

A devastating fire tore through a Brampton townhouse complex in the early hours of Sunday morning, claiming the life of a 10-year-old boy and leaving scores of residents without homes to return to.

An alarm activation brought firefighters to the scene at 3:19 a.m., according to Deputy Fire Chief Michael Clarke.

The situation was upgraded after the fire department received phone calls confirming the fire.

“The crew attempted to make an aggressive rapid attack but they weren’t able to make entry,” Clarke said.

At one point there were 19 trucks and about 50 firefighters on the scene, Clarke added.

Firefighters remained at the scene late into Sunday evening, dealing with remaining hot spots.

Officials say the fire started at a unit in the centre of a block of units but, because of the structure of the complex, the fire spread rapidly in both directions.

After the fire was out, Peel Regional Police Const. Lillian Fitzpatrick said it was the responding firefighters who confirmed the tragic news that a boy had died.

“When firefighters went through, they located the body of the child inside a unit,” Fitzpatrick told reporters on Sunday morning, just a few hours after the fire had started.

The boy, whom friends of the boy’s mother have identified as Nicolas Gabriel, was sleeping over at a friend’s house.

Brampton Mayor Susan Fennell had spoken to the family after they received the news of his death on Sunday.

Brampton townhouse fire

A displaced resident sits near the townhouse complex. The huge fire has destroyed or damanged 18 units and left between 80 to 100 people homeless, according to Peel Regional Police. (Michael Cole/CBC)

“Right now, they’re in shock,” she said. “I mean it’s so profound — your son is on a sleepover and somebody comes and knocks on your door and says your son is missing and then they confirm that your son has passed away in the fire. They’re in shock, they’re in disbelief.”

Fennell said the community is still healing from a prior tragedy, a shooting that left another young boy dead just over a year ago.

“To have a second tragedy of a loss of a young life is a nightmare,” she said.

‘Nothing but the clothes on their backs’

The blaze on Ardglen Drive left 18 units severely damaged or destroyed, according to police. They say between 80 and 100 people have been left homeless.

“These people had to leave in the very early morning hours with nothing but the clothes on their backs,” Fitzpatrick said.

That meant that a number of people fled for safety wearing just pyjamas or robes.

Fitzpatrick said between 200 and 300 people were evacuated from the area, though that figure included those who lived in adjacent units, along with those living in the units that burned.

Tressa Daley

Tressa Daley and her husband fled their home as fast as they could, after waking up to discover the fire that had broken out in the middle of the night. (CBC)

Tressa Daley was among the residents whose homes were destroyed. She told CBC News that she and her husband lost everything in the fire.

Daley said her husband jumped out of bed in the middle of the night. He looked out the window and told her they had to get out.

“He turned the lights on and he could see the glare from the flames coming off of the back of the building,” Daley told CBC News in an interview on Sunday.

Daley said the couple quickly threw on clothes and got moving.

‘Orange flames and lots of black smoke’

“When we went to go through the front door, the smoke was already starting to come through the front door. And we went out the back and came outside to see orange flames and lots of black smoke,” she said.

The smoke was thick and black. It was making it hard to breathe, Daley said.

Fitzpatrick said the fire has had a profound effect due to the sheer number of people involved.

“Their homes are gone and they were forced to evacuate those homes without taking anything with them,” she said. “So [for] the people that are involved and for their families, this has been a devastating, devastating fire.”

Fitzpatrick said that residents have been supporting one another since they first learned of the fire. Some knocked door to door to get their neighbours out.

Peel Regional Police Const. Lillian Fitzpatrick

Peel Regional Police Const. Lillian Fitzpatrick said that the people living in the Ardglen Drive townhouse complex were forced to flee their homes, in the middle of the night, with ‘nothing but the clothes on their backs.’ (CBC)

“They have that common bond that … they know exactly where they stand at this point and it’s bringing them together,” she said.

The fire is being investigated by the coroner, by police and by the Ontario Fire Marshal’s office.

Food and clothing donations have been pouring in to help out those left without a home on Sunday night.

Alain Normand, the emergency manager for the City of Brampton, said it was great to see that the community could pull together in a time of need.

But the city said the most critical need is for cash donations.

Most of the people who have been displaced are believed to be staying with family on Sunday evening. But some will close out the weekend sleeping in a shelter.

Authorities will be working with each family to relocate them for the short and long-term.

“Some have insurance, some don’t. Some lost everything, some didn’t. So we have to do a systematic valuation, family by family … so we can provide them with the help that is really required,” Normand said.

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