The Durham Police Department’s Homicide Squad has closed an investigation into a fatal townhouse fire that killed four people, including two children, on Olive Avenue earlier this year.
The fire broke out on Olive Ave at around 1am on March 22nd. 149 and while five people, including a child, fled, four more were killed.
These included 66-year-old Terrence Pottie, 57-year-old Paul Leblanc, 11-year-old Cristian Duguay-Sterling and his brother, nine-year-old Lucas Duguay-Sterling.
The Durham Police Department’s Homicide Squad worked with the Ontario Fire Marshal and Oshawa Fire Services on the investigation, and officials believe the fire was started by a child under the age of 12.
In the circumstances, Canadian law does not allow children under the age of 12 to be held responsible for a crime, and no charges will be brought.
When the fire brigade was called to the scene in March, they encountered a raging fire that forbade them to enter the house to conduct rescue operations.
After the flames were out, work began to find four missing people. The Oshawa Fire Department called on the Toronto Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR) unit to help locate the missing persons. The crews had to secure the house to search for the victims and it took two days to remove all four.
The community and first responders were deeply affected by the situation, and condolences for the family flowed from across town.
Oshawa Fire Chief Derrick Clark described the search as an incredibly difficult situation.
“I would like to express my condolences to everyone involved in this terrible tragedy; it has affected the whole city and we are a close community and we all feel the pain they are feeling, “said Clark at the time.
The city of Oshawa lowered flags to half mast to honor the victims of the fire, and community members donated to support the family through a GoFundMe fundraiser.