Police say charges could be laid after a 15-month-old Hamilton boy was left home alone when a fire broke out in the building.
Firefighters were called to the home on Bay Street North near Stuart Street just after noon on Thursday to reports of smoke streaming from the back of the building.
“When crews arrived on scene, they came to a semi-detached, one-storey home with smoke showing at the rear,” said Claudio Mostacci, a spokesman for the Hamilton Fire Department.
He said neighbours told them residents might still be in the house.
When firefighters went inside, they found the 15-month-old boy near the front of the building, Mostacci said. No one else was at home at the time.
Police spokeswoman Debbie McGreal-Dinning said police are investigating why the child was found at home alone, and the case “could lead to charges."
McGreal-Dinning said the fire has been deemed “not suspicious.”
Paramedics treated the toddler for smoke inhalation at the scene, and he was taken to McMaster Children's Hospital in stable condition, said Carmen D'Angelo, a spokesperson with the Hamilton Paramedic Service.
'My son is okay'
The toddler's parents returned to their fire-gutted home after speaking with investigators at around 4 p.m. ET on Thursday.
The couple wouldn’t say why the boy was alone at the time of the fire.
“I don’t want comment on it,” the boy's mother, who wouldn't give her name, told CBC Hamilton. "I lost my whole life [in the fire]."
She said the boy is recovering well in hospital.
“My son is OK, he’s fine,” she said.
A family friend said the child was in the care of a neighbour at the time of the fire.
“I guess she stepped out and then we got a phone call, ‘The house is on fire.’ And we were literally just up the street,” she said. “I guess the babysitter called and said the house was on fire.”
The fire caused an estimated $100,000 in damage.