A woman was killed as she tried in vain to save the family dog from a house fire in Pickering early Wednesday.
Pickering Fire Services says firefighters arrived at the home on Fawndale Rd., near Kingston and Altona Rds., within a few minutes of receiving a call about a deck fire at 4:12 a.m.
Three family members — the woman, her son and her daughter-in-law — were inside the house when the fire erupted, Chief Fire Prevention Officer Steve Fowlds said.
“They all got out,” he said. “But the mother went back inside to try to find the family dog.”
When fire crews arrived at the scene, Fowlds said the son was attempting to douse the fire with a garden hose and his mother was still inside the two-storey brick house.
But the flames spread from the back deck to the house, ultimately leaving the home charred and gutted.
“Unfortunately, the mother and dog did not make it back out,” he said.
The son and daughter-in-law suffered smoke inhalation and were taken to hospital, where they were treated and released.
Residents of the quiet neighbourhood were reeling after learning the woman died in the blaze.
“She was a nice lady,” said one neighbour, who did not give his name. “It’s sad.”
He said he believes the woman was a personal support worker who was widowed in recent years.
The Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating to determine what sparked the blaze.
Fowlds urged people to have an escape plan and choose a meeting point outside in case of a fire.
He also warned that fires can be deceiving.
“It’s not just the flames, it’s the smoke,” Fowlds said. “So once you’re out, stay out.”
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