Fire investigators have classified the cause of a fatal house fire that took place at a single-family residence in Picton last month as “undetermined.”
Bill Hay of the Ontario Fire Marshall’s Office tells Quinte News his official report will be finalized within the week and the precise cause of the ignition is officially undetermined. Hay said the fire started in the northeast corner of the downstairs living room.
“There were too many things in that space that could have caused the fire,” said Hay. “It wasn’t intentional and it was a tragic accidental event that took place.”
On March 12, emergency response crews were called to 30 Main Street in Picton before 9 a.m., where 51-year-old Juanita Dubois escaped the fire with her daughter 16-year-old Emily Walker and 21-year-old son Nick Dubois. Tragically her eldest son 25-year-old Zachary Dubois was killed in the blaze.
There had been some question about a delay in smoke alarms at the time of the fire.
Hay said they found all of the smoke alarms and they were functional.
“The one closest to the fire however had been removed off of the ceiling and it wasn’t replaced which explains the reason why there was a delay in the smoke alarm detecting the fire’s development,” he said.
Technically it is a fire code offense to remove smoke alarms said Hay adding at this point they are not going down that path.
“We don’t believe it was done mischievously, he said. “It might have been done while someone was cooking.”
Considering the entire house was completely destroyed, Hay estimates damage around $250,000 to $300,000.
Hay said his findings including the Coroner’s report on the cause of Dubois’ death will be of public record within a few months.
A go fund me account was immediately started for the family after the fire which can be accessed by clicking here.