From The Toronto Star
Fire victim unaware of blaze
Neighbours can't save dazed woman
Death `suspicious,' Durham police say
A teen trying to help a woman escape from an early morning townhouse blaze in Oshawa was shocked when she calmly told him there was no fire and crawled back inside to her death.
Robert Tutt, 17, was watching television around 5:30 a.m. yesterday in his family's Lakeview Park Ave. unit when he heard a couple of loud bangs.
Then he saw a glow in a rear window of the unidentified neighbour's house.
He ran to the front door of the unit on Lakeview Park Ave., off Simcoe St. near the waterfront, and saw a woman crawl out of the house through a broken window in the door, Tutt said in an interview.
But when he asked the dazed-looking woman — he estimated she was about 21 — about the fire, she told him there was no fire and went back through the window without another word, Tutt said.
He tried to put his arm through the opening to unlock the door from the inside but couldn't because of the searing heat, he said.
Another neighbour, Tim Belmore, had been awakened by a smoke detector going off in his unit next door to the fire.
He called 911 and then ran outside.
When Tutt told him about the woman, Belmore kicked down the front door and stepped inside but was driven back by choking smoke and roaring flames.
"I wanted to try to save anyone who was in there, but there was just no way," he said.
"The flames were huge. The whole place was burning."
Firefighters arrived minutes later, but it took some time — Belmore estimated at least 30 minutes — before they could get inside.
After the blaze was out, he could see the victim's body on the living room floor through a window, Belmore said.
Belmore, Tutt and other neighbours said they didn't know the woman's identity.
They said a couple in their 40s with a young child, who were known to live there, were away at the time of the fire. The couple also have an adult daughter but it was not known if she was the victim.
Durham Region police said only that there was a single victim whose death was "suspicious," and they were not releasing her age or identity.
The body, covered by a plastic sheet, still had not been removed from the scene by late afternoon.
"We have yet to make a determination as to the cause of the fire," said Wayne Romaine, an investigator from the Ontario Fire Marshal's office.
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Thread: Oshawa Ontario--Fatal Fire
12-30-2003, 05:07 PM #1
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Oshawa Ontario--Fatal Fire
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