2 dead in Kanata house fire

Two people found in a burning west Ottawa home Monday night have been pronounced dead. Ottawa police and the Office of the Fire Marshal are investigating.

Neighbours heard explosions, saw flames shooting from windows

Caution tape surrounds the home on Hansen Avenue in Ottawa's west end where two people were found in a burning home Monday night. (Kimberley Molina/CBC )

Two people found in a burning west Ottawa home Monday night have been pronounced dead.

Ottawa Fire Services responded to a 911 call about a garage fire on Hansen Avenue, southwest of Carling Avenue and March Road, around 10:10 p.m.

When firefighters arrived, flames were visible and the garage roof had begun collapsing.

Because the home's staircase was in flames, firefighters used ladders to reach the second floor where they found two people who were unresponsive. Both were later pronounced dead.

The fire was brought under control shortly after 11 p.m. Ottawa police and the Office of the Fire Marshal are involved in the investigation.

Neighbour heard explosions

Anne-Marie Faulkner lives down the street and said she heard two explosions a minute apart.

"The whole building, the front, the cars were already in flames. The flames were already shooting out all of the windows, even on the second floor. The smoke and the heat was intense," said Faulkner.

Faulkner said the couple who lived there were around the same age as her and her husband.

"We were still shaking at one in the morning last night," she said.

Andrew Elias says the fire happened so quickly his next door neighbour's home was engulfed within minutes. (Kimberley Molina/CBC)

Andrew Elias lives next door to the house and said he noticed the flames before 10 p.m. He grabbed his kids and cat and evacuated their home.

"It was incredibly fast," said Elias. "You know, [it's] scary enough to understand now what it means to get out as quick as you can and plan your exit route. I really understand that statement now."

Both neighbours said since the fire, their safety has been top of mind. Elias said he's talking to his children about strategies.

"Be very clear with them, you know, rip whatever window you have and screen and just get the heck out of here kind of thing," he said.

WATCH | Neighbours on Hansen Avenue in Kanata say they're shocked by how quickly the fire spread:

‘It’s very devastating’: Neighbours say fatal fire happened quickly

2 years ago
Duration 1:38
Neighbours on Hansen Avenue in Kanata say they’re shocked by how quickly the fire spread. Two people were pronounced dead after being found in the burning home Monday night.

Double check fire safety plan: Fire officials

More people have died in fires in 2020 in Ottawa than any year since amalgamation in 2001

"We know that people are spending a lot more time in their homes this year and it's more important than ever to be taking home fire safety seriously," said Carson Tharris, a public information officer with Ottawa Fire Services.

He said people should test smoke detectors monthly and make sure to have one on every floor.

It took Ottawa firefighters about 45 minutes to get a house fire on Hansen Avenue under control. They found two bodies as they searched the home. (Ottawa Fire Services)

"If you don't know the last time you tested it, go out today and test that smoke alarm."

He also urged people to remain vigilant when cooking on the stove, and ensure candles and space heaters are kept at least one metre away from any obstacles.

A neighbourhood vigil for the family is planned for 7 p.m. Tuesday.

With files from Kimberley Molina

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