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'It happens too often': No active smoke detectors found at site of fatal blaze

An investigator with Ontario's fire marshal office is urging people to make sure they have working smoke detectors following a fatal blaze in Sudbury, Ont.

Investigation underway after one person died following a fire at a bungalow in Sudbury, Ont.

Dave Emberlin with Ontario's Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management is investigating the cause of a fatal fire in Sudbury, Ont. (Olivia Stefanovich/CBC)

An investigator with Ontario's fire marshal office is urging people to make sure they have working smoke detectors following a fatal blaze in Sudbury, Ont. 

A 60-year-old woman is dead and another person displaced following a fire on Monday night at a home on Victoria Street in the city's west end.

Dave Emberlin was called to the scene early Tuesday morning to discover there were not any functional fire alarms inside.  

"It's a tragedy," Emberlin said.

"Had there been a working smoke alarm, it would have provided early detection for the occupant to get out."

A vehicle for Ontario's Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management sits outside a house on Victoria Street in Sudbury, Ont., where a fatal fire occurred on Monday night. (Olivia Stefanovich/CBC)

The situation is especially heartbreaking given the timing is so close to Christmas, said Greater Sudbury platoon fire chief George Lalonde.

'More tragic when it's around this time of year'

"Any time it happens, it's a tragedy," Lalonde said.

"But it seems to be a little more tragic when it's around this time of year."

The name of the deceased is not being released at this time, pending notification of next of kin.
George Lalonde, platoon chief at Greater Sudbury Fire Services, called the incident especially devastating given the time of year. (Olivia Stefanovich/CBC)

"Our thoughts are with the family of the deceased female at this time," Greater Sudbury staff sergeant Sandra Dicaire said.

"We would request that they be given their privacy."  

The investigation into the cause of the fire could take a couple of weeks, according to Emberlin. 

The blaze destroyed at least one room and caused substantial smoke damage worth about $50,000. There are no indications of foul play. 
Greater Sudbury Police staff sergeant Sandra Dicaire.

Smoke detector makes 'great Christmas gift,' investigator says

"People think a fire isn't going to happen in my place," Emberlin said 

"It happens too often."

This is about the twelfth fire Emberlin has been sent to probe across the province in the last week — many of which have been fatal. That is why he is encouraging people to check their fire alarms, and give the devices as gifts this season.

"It'd be a great Christmas gift." Emberlin said.

"They're cheap. You buy a new battery once a year. Test them once a month. They save lives. You have to have them and it's the law."

About the Author

Olivia Stefanovich

Senior reporter

Olivia Stefanovich is a national reporter for CBC Saskatchewan on secondment from CBC Sudbury. She covers news from across the province for radio, TV and online. Connect with her on Twitter @CBCOlivia. Send story ideas to olivia.stefanovich@cbc.ca.