UPDATE: Four dead, including two children in Oshawa house fire
Four people, two of them children are dead after fire ripped through a house in Oshawa,
Oshawa Fire Chief Derrick Clark's voice cracked as he explained to reporters officials have been told 11 people lived in two units in the home on Centre St N near Colborne St W.
"It's always nasty when there's a fire and it's always upsetting when there's a loss of life," mayor John Henry said at a news conference. "To the families we pass on our deepest sympathies to you."
A man, woman, boy, and girl were pulled from the home but were later pronounced dead. Clark said two victims were located on the upper floors of the two-storey house and one on the main floor. The fourth, one of the children, was pulled from the home but later died in hospital.
The victims have not yet been formally identified by authorities. However, two friends identified the woman as Lindsey Bonchek and said two of Bonckek's children -- Jaxon and Maddie -- died in the fire as well. A fourth person, identified as Steven MacDonald, was also killed.
Friends say Bonchek’s third child, a 16-year-old, was at school when the fire broke out.
"It's very sad," said a nearby store owner, who identified himself as John. "The little girl was just here three days before, she bought a mug. I feel so sad for her."
Three tenants were taken to hospital. Their conditions are unknown.
Firefighters were called to the home with reports of people trapped at about 8:10 a.m. Monday. Clark says they faced heavy smoke and flames when the arrived and had to battle the fire from the outside. Snowfall at the time did not help.
Clark describes their efforts as extraordinary, valiant and brave.
"We had severe fire conditions that worsened and we evacuated all personnel from the building, made a defensive attack and then regrouped and went back in for search and rescue."
It is not clear how or why the fire started but Clark said the back of home was badly damaged.
Investigators with Oshawa Fire Services and the Ontario Fire Marshal expect to be at the home investigating the cause of the fire for several days.
with files from CP24
Hayley Cooper/NEWSTALK 1010