Scarborough home ravaged after two fires

It was a nightmare come true for 16-year old, Sharon Thuraisingham when a fire  broke out in her home at 28A Cedar Dr. on the morning of April 11.

“I had a dream about this about two or three weeks before it happened,” said Sharon, who said she didn’t want to live there anymore since the house was cursed.

To make matters even scarier, what Sharon hadn’t dreamt was that a second fire would break out in the home the same day.

Firefighters told the Thuraisingham family the house was safe after the initial fire in the kitchen was put out but were called back hours later to find the roof ablaze.

Fire safety tips

How to prevent kitchen fires:

  • DO NOT wear loose clothing that can catch fire
  • DO NOT keep commonly used items above the stove
  • DO NOT leave food on the stove unattended
  • DO clean your stove and oven as built up grease can easily ignite
  • DO keep flammable objects — like dish towels, newspapers or curtains — away from the heat
  • DO unplug all appliances when not in use
  • DO look for and repair frayed or cracking cords
  • DO make stovetop controls easy to read: mark OFF with a bright red dot

How to handle a grease or pan fire:

  • DO turn the stove off immediately
  • DO smother the pan with a lid, be sure to wear oven mitts
  • DO NOT throw water or flour on a grease fire
  • DO close the oven door and turn off the oven in case of an oven fire
  • DO stop, drop and roll if your clothing catches fire
  • DO run your skin under cool water for five to 10 minutes then seek medical attention in the event of a burn
  • DO NOT lift the pan: the contents may burn you
  • DO use an extinguisher if you are familiar with how to use one
  • DO call 911 if you cannot control the fire

With info from Toronto Fire Services

David Thuraisingham, husband and father of two, said the first fire broke out right in front of his wife’s eyes around 9:30 a.m.  “She was cutting some vegetables and she turned around and saw a fire coming from the pan.”

Emergency crews were called and the fire appeared to have been doused by the time crews showed up, Thuraisingham said. Firefighters congratulated the family for their efforts, instructing them to call their insurance company and not to use the kitchen, and they left.

The family went to a relative’s for lunch, except for son Roshan, 22, who took a nap in the house.
David Thuraisingham went back to working for a friend when he got a call from his son around 3 p.m., who was crying and telling him to come home.

“I couldn’t get into our street.  It was full of people, full of firefighters and police,” David said.  “When I came [home] I saw the roof burning.”

He  blamed the second fire on bad insulation in the 1970s-built house that his family moved to in 2001, saying the initial cause of the roof blaze was the kitchen fire.

“It spread and smoldered from the first fire. It wasn’t detected but it spread to the attic.”

Neighbours had seen the smoke coming from the roof. After repeatedly ringing the doorbell, they heard the family dog barking, so they used a crowbar to pry the door open.  A neighbour ran downstairs to rescue Roshan who was still asleep despite the commotion.

No one was hurt in either blaze .

David is more fearful of repair costs, thinking they will exceed the estimated $300,000, since the house is worth more than that amount.  He and his wife only work part-time jobs, while looking for a temporary home, trying not to impose on their relatives, whom they are currently staying with during the eight to 10 month restoration.

“All my friends are being so nice, saying if you need any help, if you need money…” David said with a smile. “I am blessed for that.”