A child was among three people killed Sunday morning in a devastating house fire in East Vancouver that also injured two people from the same family, according to the Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services.
The fire started at 7:30 a.m. and investigators said it probably started in the basement of the detached home near the intersection of East 41st Avenue and Earles Street.
The three killed were from three generations of the same family – a grandfather, mother and a child under 10 years. The two injured were the father and grandmother of the child, where the father suffered severe burns.
“We send our sincere condolences and heartfelt thoughts of empathy to the family,” Vancouver fire chief Karen Fry said at a news conference Sunday afternoon.
Smoke flowed from the burned home in the middle of a downpour in the middle of the morning. An entire side of the house was covered in ash and soot, and windows were shattered.
Firefighters said about 40 firefighters and other paramedics tackled the fire at East 41st Avenue and Earles Street.
“The fire was incredibly extensive and devastating,” Fry said. “At this time, we do not know the extent of the smoke alarms and whether they worked or not.”
Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services continues to investigate the fatal fire, but the cause of the fire is unknown at this time. Investigators do not currently believe there is anything suspicious about how the fire started.
Fry said the injured father and grandmother were found outside the burning house when firefighters arrived. The other three were found when firefighters entered the house. Attempts to revive them were unsuccessful and they were declared dead on the spot.
“These types of incidents are devastating – not only for the family of the deceased and the victims, but for our firefighters and for other first aiders,” she said.
“We do what we can to bring stress teams to critical incidents in. We have them available and on site and have also been in touch with WorkSafe[BC]. “
Police officers and members of the BC Coroners Service attended the scene, where police taped a long stretch of busy East 41st Avenue to block traffic.