Burned-out owners in home less than month

A young couple from the East Coast had moved into their Lambeth home less than a month before a fast-moving fire destroyed the house, say neighbours.

Fire investigators and police remained at 4 Aspen Place on Monday, four days after a late-night blaze tore through the two-storey house while the owners were at the cinema, causing $1.2  million in damage.

A neighbour called them Thursday night to say their home was on fire, said one Aspen resident who wanted to be identified only as Donna. The homeowners rushed back to find firefighters battling the blaze. “They had to stand and watch,” Donna said. “They lost everything.”

The couple, originally from Halifax, are staying with relatives in Toronto, Donna added.

Firefighters were called to Aspen Place, a cul-de-sac lined with large trees, shortly after 10 p.m. It took only 13 minutes for the flames to gut the house.

The fire brought Aspen Place residents into the street to watch firefighters keep the blaze from spreading to a neighbouring house and nearby trees. “We were all out there for hours,” Donna said.

On Monday, firefighters hosed down the charred remains of the high-end home and shovelled debris into the front yard.

“We are currently digging out all the debris. With that, we can piece together what happened with this property,” said fire Insp. James Marshall, adding the cause remains under investigation.

The house sustained heavy structural damage, Marshall said, and portions of it had to be brought down using heavy machinery.

“For us to have a safe fire investigation, we had to remove pieces of the house that were structurally unsound,” he said.

The 7,000-square-foot house was listed for sale in the spring for $1.14 million. The home, built on a 2.4-hectare lot, backs on a park and features a wooded area, tennis court and an outdoor pool.

City tax records show Ryan Dubois owns the house. Neighbours confirmed a man named Ryan and his wife live there.

Two investigators from the fire marshal’s office, including an engineer, at the scene declined to comment on the investigation.

Police will hold the scene until the fire marshal is done, Const. Jacquie Wilson said.

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