Kemptville fire kills mother and her infant daughter
Flowers and a teddy bear sat outside a burned out Kemptville home on Tuesday after flames took the lives of a young mother and her nine-month-old daughter the night before.
Police say the fire appears to have started in the kitchen where Amber Lee, 19, left food cooking unattended.
Police say Lee was outside with her 27-year-old boyfriend Michael Fish when the pair saw flames billowing inside the home.
The young mother immediately rushed inside to rescue her daughter Payton. Both perished in the blaze.
"There was no way anyone was coming out of there," said neighbour Heather Bennett, who lives across the street.
"You couldn't even breathe the air outside here without choking. So, I can imagine if you see the black on the house, that's how black the smoke was coming out the windows."
Firefighters say by the time they arrived at the home on Hagan Street at about 10:45 p.m., the rear of the house was already engulfed in flames.
The bodies of Lee and her daughter were found together on the second floor of the house, which was split into two apartments.
Two adults and two children living in the other apartment were able to escape without injury.
"It could have been prevented, there's no question about that," said Kemptville Fire Chief Tim Bond.
"Obviously, stay beside your cooking -- don't leave your stove or kitchen area."
He said the tragedy is proof that mandatory fire sprinklers are needed in Ontario homes.
"We're trying to get the provincial government to pass regulations that in all new dwellings that sprinklers are going to be mandatory," said Bond.
By next spring, it will be mandatory for all new condos and apartments higher than three storeys to have sprinklers.
The changes will take effect on April 1, 2010. Building permit applications submitted after that date must comply with the new fire sprinkler requirements.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Vanessa Lee