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Two found dead, two remain unaccounted for after fire destroys row of townhomes

Four of five residents sent to hospital have been released

(Photo by Courtney Bachar)

Two people have been found dead and two people are still unaccounted for after a fire destroyed one unit and damaged several others on Olive Avenue in Oshawa early this morning.

Firefighters arrived on scene just before 1 a.m. Monday morning where Fire Chief Derrick Clark says there was a “very extensive, very active fire.”

Fire officials say there were nine people inside the home. Five people were sent to hospital and at this time, one person, a child, remains in hospital at Lakeridge Health.

(Photo by Colin Williamson)

“It is with heavy hearts that we report that at this time there are four residents who are unaccounted for. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of those community members,” says Clark.

Because of the structural integrity of the building, crews were not able to get inside as fire crews were working on the defensive.

In a statement released by Peter Dyson, president of the Oshawa Professional Fire Fighters Association, he notes their thoughts and prayers are with those impacted by the terrible tragedy.

“We share the grief of the loved ones who are learning the devastating news today and we are thinking of those who are now in hospital and we wish them a full recovery,” the statement reads, adding this tragedy impacts the entire community.

“It signifies that we must come together, like we always do in times of need, to support the affected families, support each other and begin the long healing process.”

The statement notes that thoughts are also with the firefighters who responded to the emergency and maintained professionalism in the face of extremely difficult circumstances.

Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter says he is “saddened” to learn of this tragic event.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends who have been impacted during this difficult time,” he says in a statement released by the city. “Our appreciation goes out to the first responders including our fire crews.”

(Photo by Courtney Bachar)

In total, eight units in a row of townhomes were impacted by the fire, with the most extensive damage at 149 Olive Avenue. All those injured and those still missing are all from that location.

“The building is so unstable,” says Clark. “We’ve had floors collapse down on each other, so it’s going to be a real challenge.”

Clark says several residents were housed at a temporary shelter at a local hotel with the help of community social services and the Red Cross.

The Ontario Fire Marshall is on scene to conduct an investigation and is working with Oshawa Fire Services and Durham Regional Police Service to determine the cause of the fire.

The Toronto Heavy Urban Search and Rescue unit is on scene to assist as well.