A fire left two elderly people dead in Etobicoke on Sunday, a tragedy that investigators believe began in the kitchen of the semi-detached home where the victims were found.

Bob O'Hallarn, a Toronto Fire divisional commander, said firefighters were called to the scene on Abigail Place, near Martin Grove Road and Dixon Road, at about 3:20 a.m.

Etobicoke Abigail Place fire

An elderly couple were killed by an early morning fire in Etobicoke on Sunday. (Michael Cole/CBC)

"On arrival, there were police officers on scene, who informed us there were two people inside the house," said Sunday.

O'Hallarn said firefighters went in quickly, pushing through to where the victims were found at the rear of the home.

"It was fully involved at the front," he said, pointing to the extensive damage wrought by the fire.

The victims are identified as an 80-year-old man and a 76-year-old woman, according to Toronto Fire Capt. Mike Strapko.

Strapko added that the inside of the home is completely gutted, and the damage is estimated to be $500,000.

Strapko said, due to the severity of the damage, it is difficult to tell if there were working smoke detectors inside the home. He wanted to remind residents this is the time of the year to check and make sure the smoke detectors in your house are working properly. 

'They were great people'

Officials have not released the names of the deceased, but a family member spoke briefly with the media about the couple who died.

"They were great people," said the family member, who identified himself as the deceased man's brother.

Neighbours identified the deceased couple as Frank and Maria Quintieri.

Etobicoke Abigail Place fire

The inside of the home is completed gutted, said Toronto Fire Capt. Mike Strapko. (Michael Cole/CBC)

Jeff Tebby, an investigator with the Office of the Fire Marshal, told reporters Sunday that the cause of the fire is not known.

"The fire started in the kitchen area, but at this point, we cannot comment any further," he said.

Post-mortem examinations are taking place on Sunday.

Tebby said the scene investigation will continue after that.

"The examination will try and refine the area of origin, look for ignition sources in that area of origin, as well as looking for alarms," he said.

"There is nothing to indicate that it's suspicious at this point, but the origin is not known, it's still under investigation."