Homeowner jailed for failing to install smoke alarms before fatal fire

Luciano Brancalion pleaded guilty to failing to install and maintain smoke alarms in a home he owned after three people died in a fire.
A homeowner has been convicted for failing to install and maintain smoke alarms after an August 6, 2016 fire in Hamilton left three people dead and seven injured. (Andrew Collins/CBC)

A man has been sentenced to jail time for violating two Ontario Fire Code requirements after a fatal house fire in Hamilton.

According to a news release from the city, Luciano Brancalion pleaded guilty to failing to install smoke alarms in hallways near sleeping areas and failing to maintain smoke alarms in operating condition at a house he owned on Niagara Street.

Three people died there in a fire in 2016.

A Justice of the Peace ordered Brancalion serve two 14-day jail sentences on Wednesday. The court ruled he would serve them concurrently.

"This tragic fire had a profound effect on all first responders … It highlighted the importance of installing and maintaining working smoke alarms in all residences across the City," Hamilton Fire Chief David Cunliffe said in a media release.

Firefighters were called to 70 Niagara St. at 4:30 a.m. on August 6, 2016. They tried to battle the flames from the inside but conditions became unsafe and crews had to fight the fire from outside.

Victoria Maire, her son Robert and daughter Abigail all died in the fire. Seven others were taken to hospital.

Victoria Maire, her son Robert and daughter Abigail died in a house fire on August 6, 2016. (Colleen Ward/Facebook)

The fire started when something was left unattended on the stove. Flames then spread to the upper floors of the home, including the attic where Maire and her children were later found.

The city is reminding homeowners that working smoke alarms can save lives.

"A working smoke alarm will provide you and your family with the earliest warning of a fire in your home and provide you with the time required to safely evacuate your home," the release said.