UPDATE: Questions raised about safety of Brampton townhouse complex

Fund set up to help family of child killed pay for funeral

Questions about the safety of a Brampton townhouse complex have been raised in the wake of a tragic fire over the weekend.

A 10-year-old boy, identified as 10-year-old Nicolas Gabriel, died in a townhouse complex fire on Sunday near Kennedy and Queen.

The boy's body was found after the fire was extinguished. He was visiting for a sleepover.

Eighty to 100 people have lost their homes and nearly all of their possessions after the fire broke out on Ardglen Avenue around 3:15 Sunday morning. Eighteen units were destroyed in total.

As many as 300 people were initially evacuated for safety reasons.

On Moore in the Morning Monday there were concerns raised about the conditions of the townhouse complex.

"If you drive past you can just clearly see the places are poorly taken care of," Pastor Jamie Holtom of the North Bramalea United Church told Moore in the Morning. "(The units) are not being supported as far as the physicality of the places."

Resident Wendy Gibson told the Globe and Mail Monday morning that the fire alarms were inadequate.

"I was hearing people talking - they couldn't even hear the fire alarms at their house," Gibson told the Globe. "They should be inside every house, and they don't take care of this place."

Fire officials said a townhouse unit was engulfed in flames and the fire spread “very quickly” to other units.

A Deputy fire chief confirmed the fire began in the kitchen of one unit while the tennant was cooking, then quickly spread from roof to roof. 

Brampton Mayor Susan Fennell says the city is working with the residents who have lost their homes, ensuring they're equipped with the essentials and provided with a place to stay.  The local community center has also opened its doors.  

The website is accepting cash donations on behalf of the victims.

The Fire Marshall is investigating.

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  • 13
  1. Vicki Speirs posted on 06/08/2014 09:52 AM
    Where can we offer assistance to those in need? I live close by and would like to offer whatever I can to the victims...
    1. Greg posted on 06/09/2014 02:42 AM
      @Vicki Speirs There's a link at the bottom of the article that directs you to where you can donate.

      I can't help but think that the parents of this poor kid will have some serious questions as to why he didn't make it out. I assume there was at least one adult and one other kid that were able to get out, what happened to the visiting boy? Of course I'm seeing this through the lens of someone who wasn't there. I can't imagine the panic and confusion.
  2. Lyn Ne posted on 06/08/2014 07:32 PM
    HOW does a fire spread this rapidly in this day and age? Building codes much? :(
    1. G Man posted on 06/09/2014 08:51 AM
      @Lyn Ne It's probably an old building built to the building codes of its day. As such, it's not required to be retrofit to meet the latest building codes.
  3. Tanya posted on 06/09/2014 05:53 AM
    Who's cooking at 3:00 A.M.? I wonder if they were sober? If not I suspect they're in a lot of trouble.
    1. HP posted on 06/09/2014 08:20 AM
      @Tanya That's not's easy to forget a pot on the stove, we've all done it. Poor kid.
    2. frank posted on 06/09/2014 09:30 AM
      @Tanya Maybe they are not in trouble, unless child welfare authorities wake up and do their jobs. The CAS lets too many children suffer harm and even die by writing off a failure to provide the necessities of life as some kind of accident.

      When authorities prosecute every negligent child's death, kids will stop dying. There is no reason to lose up to 200 Ontariochildren every year due to adult negligence. Make it stop.
    3. Renee posted on 06/09/2014 03:04 PM
      @Tanya Many people are required to work shift work. It is not that unusual for people to come home from work and have something to eat.
  4. frankie posted on 06/09/2014 08:20 AM
    How did Nicholas get left behind?
  5. frankie posted on 06/09/2014 08:51 AM
    How do you take yourself and your children out of a fire and leave a visiting child behind?
    1. john posted on 06/09/2014 11:28 AM
      @frankie yea that's stupid i agree .
  6. don was right posted on 06/09/2014 11:31 AM
    Social housing? wood construction? disaster waiting to happen.
  7. frank posted on 06/09/2014 11:00 PM
    We need adults who will ensure the safety of children and fire dept.s willing to rescue them. Where are child welfare authorities? Were basic childcare standards met? If a person drives carelessly and someone dies, charges are laid. If someone cooks carelessly surely the result should be similar, especially if child welfare standards are not upheld. Too many Ontario children die each year. We must ensure charges are laid and lawsuits brought to end these deaths of innocents.
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