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Verdun fire may have been started by kids

A makeshift memorial sits by the triplex  in Verdun.

Neighbours, friends and people who just heard about the tragedy stopped by to place flowers and teddy bears.

“Chad (Little Buddy), forever in my heart,” one woman wrote on a card that was left with some white roses.

Yesterday's devastating  fire that left three people dead and one critically injured may have been the result of a child playing with fire.

“That is the theory right now – that one of the children could have been playing with a lighter,” said Montreal police Constable Olivier Lapointe. 

7 year-old Chad Harbour-Dewitt , his mother 37 year-old Holly Harbour and 45 year-old Sylvain Marois were killed in the blaze.

Chad's 47 year-old aunt Juanita  is on life support in hospital. Police had originally said she was the fourth victim.

Chad’s father, Bob Dewitt, managed to escape from the house, along with his young son, A.J.

 To make matters even more heartbreaking, yesterday's tragedy have been the result of a child playing with fire.

“That is the theory right now – that one of the children could have been playing with a lighter,” said Montreal police Constable Olivier Lapointe. 

Police said Monday the fire began when bedding was accidentally ignited by one of the young brothers.

"It seems to be one of the two children playing their room with a lighter, and that's when the fire started," said Montreal police Const. Anie Lemieux.

Firefighters said Sunday there were either no smoke detectors in the house, or they were not functional.

As is too often the case in house fires, the home   was not equipped with a working smoke detector

Firefighters say smoke detectors often don't work because the resident has failed to change the battery at the 6 month mark. Many people also remove it because they go off while they're cooking. 

 At Riverview Elementary school where Chad attended kindergarten, grief counselors were called in on Monday.

Principal Debra Gross said he was known and loved by everyone who met him.

Gross says she began calling staff and parents of the school the moment she heard the news.

Staff and teachers spent much of Monday talking to kids and informing them of Chad's death.

"We though today that what we would do was wait it out a little bit and see how they react and see what they need," said Gross.

To honour Chad's memory, and to help raise money for  surviving family, Riverview staff and students will wear hats to school on Thursday. 

Chad  loved hats, and was rarely seen without one.

 

Comments

  • montreal mental health & Montreal health exami 4 years ago

    I didn't know the family but the fire was on the next street over from me just behind my house. Our electricity was cut off for awhile and we didn't know under the next day what had happened.

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