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No working smoke alarms in east-end house fire that killed 4

Last Updated Mar 12, 2021 at 9:40 am EDT

An early-morning fire on Gainsborough Road in Toronto that left four people dead is now the subject an Ontario Fire Marshal’s investigation. Mark Douglas

There has been an update into the investigation into a fatal fire in Toronto’s east end in January.

The Fire Marshal’s Office and Toronto Fire say there were no working smoke alarms in the home at 95 Gainsborough Road, near Gerrard and Coxwell,

Investigators have determined the fire was caused by an electrical failure in the dining room ceiling.


Four people died in the Jan. 29 fire, including a 7-year-old boy.

All four people who died were inside the home when the fire started. Two others were taken to hospital.

“When a fire occurs, you may only have seconds to get out safely,” said Fire Marshal Jon Pegg.

“With the time change this weekend, I want to remind Ontarians to change the batteries in their smoke alarms and test them. Installing working smoke alarms and testing them monthly is the most important action an individual homeowner can take to protect themselves and their loved ones from the hazards associated with fire.”

The Office of the Fire Marshal recommends three actions to keep homes safe:

  • Working smoke alarms must be installed on every storey of a home and outside all sleeping areas.
  • Change the batteries at least once a year and/or if the low-battery warning sounds or if the alarm fails to sound when tested.
  • Smoke alarms need to be replaced every 10 years.


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