OTTAWA -- An investigation is underway at a home in Kanata where two people were found dead late Monday.

Crews were called to 52 Hansen Avenue after 10 p.m. Monday night. Flames spread from a garage to a house, destroying a stairwell.

Firefighters entered the building via the second floor, discovering the two people inside.

Officials initially said two people were found unresponsive at the scene. Police confirmed Tuesday morning those two people were found dead.

Neighbours heard bangs and called 911

Neighbours Patti Perry and Marc St-Germain were among those dialling 9-1-1.

"It didn’t register until we heard the second or third explosions or bangs that something wasn’t right so we moved out to the living room window and then Patti notices, ‘oh my God there’s a fire, we have to call 911," recalled St-Germain.

“It was scary, and then there’d be another explosion and then it must have been about 30 to 40 feet above the roof top,” said Perry of the flames.

“We were concerned because we could see two cars in the laneway but we couldn’t see the people who were inside and that’s heartbreaking," she said. "They were very quiet people, we knew them to say hi to."

Police have not identified those who died.

"It’s devastating at any time but especially at this time of the year, it makes it that much more tragic," said St-Germain. 

The couple adding the tragedy is bringing neighbours together. 

“Our whole neighbourhood is pulling together to help when there’s any help needed and we saw that last night.”

Deadly year for fires in Ottawa

So far in 2020, fires have claimed the lives of 12 people in Ottawa, double the yearly average. While it’s not yet known what led to this fire, officials are urging people ensure that they have working smoke alarms on every level of their homes.

"If you don’t know the last time you’ve tested your smoke alarm, get up tonight, go push that button make sure that smoke alarm is going to work in case your family needs to be alerted," said Ottawa Fire Services Public Information Officer Carson Tharris. 

The Ottawa Police Arson Unit along with the Office of the Fire Marshal has been brought in to investigate.

"Our purpose here is to solely to determine the area of origin, so where did this fire start, and the next part of our job is to determine the cause of the fire so once we determine the origin and the cause then it brings us to the circumstances," said fire investigator Chris Terstege with the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal, adding the investigation was complex and it could take a few days to determine the cause.