Firefighters investigate following a house fire in the Spryfield community in Halifax on Tuesday, February 19, 2019. Halifax police say they have responded to a fatal fire in the city, although there are no details on how many people are victims. Police say firefighters were called to a home on Quartz Drive in Spryfield around 1 a.m. today. (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press)

‘Our entire municipality is heartbroken’: Seven children die in Halifax house fire

A man and woman remained in hospital Tuesday afternoon, the man with life-threatening injuries

Police have confirmed that seven children died in an early morning fire Tuesday that witnesses said quickly engulfed a home in a Halifax suburb.

Investigators say it’s believed the young children are all from the same family.

A man and woman remained in hospital Tuesday afternoon, the man with life-threatening injuries. The woman was expected to survive her injuries.

The Ummah Mosque and Community Centre in Halifax said in a Facebook post that the family was Syrian, and that a burial was planned for later Tuesday or Wednesday at the Kearney Lake cemetery.

A woman who lives next door to the home on Quartz Drive in Spryfield said the family included seven children ranging in age from three months to 17-years-old.

Danielle Burt said she heard a loud bang and a woman screaming just after 12:30 a.m.

She fled the house with her four children and saw the parents outside in a harrowing scene.

“The mother was on the grass, praying I guess, bowing her hands down, and pulling on my husband’s arm to call 911,” she said, becoming emotional.

“She said the kids were inside and the dad was sitting on the steps. I think he had gone back in because he was really burnt. It was just awful.”

National Home Fire Safety Week: Lighting safety is a bright idea

READ MORE: The potential danger hiding in your kitchen junk drawer

Another neighbour who didn’t want to be identified, told The Canadian Press that she was startled awake by screams.

“We heard horrible screams and then got up and saw the flames,” she said. “It was horrible. We called 911 but it took a long time to get through because apparently everyone was calling 911 at the same time.”

The woman said she and her husband heard men yelling and they saw a woman in distress in the street.

“I saw a woman kind of flailing around on the road, she looked to be in a lot of distress,” her husband said. “The police were kind of helping her, I don’t know if they were holding her back from going back, but she was kind of falling down, they were lifting her up.”

The woman said the fire spread very quickly as they watched.

“It was really scary,” she said.

“I was nervous it was going to hit the house next door but it didn’t. And then the fire crews finally got here, but there were flames shooting out the front of the house, like shooting out the windows. It was horrible.”

The home, which was extensively damaged in the blaze, is situated in a newly built residential neighbourhood.

The street was closed for a time to both pedestrian and vehicle traffic as the investigation ensued and police asked people to stay out of the area.

“Our entire municipality is heartbroken and our thoughts are with the loved ones of the family,” Halifax Mayor Mike Savage said in a tweet.

Halifax District Fire Chief Mike Blackburn said the fire was very heavy when they arrived, but firefighters were able to “knock it down” quickly.

He suggested firefighters were deeply affected by what they saw.

“They’ll process this over time but it’s very difficult and it’s not going to get any easier.”

In a joint news release, Halifax police and fire services said their first responders were deeply saddened.

“The fire remains under investigation. Our thoughts are with the family, community and all first responders involved at this difficult time,” they said.

Aly Thomson, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

‘Living Free’ talk supports Lacombe’s Mary C. Moore Public Library

Marco Ste. Marie will give a motivational talk on April 4th at the LMC

Blackfalds closing road for safety concerns

Motorists are required to use HWY 2A instead of Broadway Avenue

Merry Guanas poised to be Lacombe’s first cannabis dispensary

Cannabis retail owner expects a six-month wait before industry comes to city

Lacombe hosts 6th Invasive Species Council Conference at LMC

Council looks to protect native ecological environments in Alberta

Construction along Woodland and Fairway drives

Construction in this area is planned for the week of March 25, 2019

WATCH: ‘Napalm Girl’ discusses journey from hatred to forgiveness in Lacombe

Burman University’s Herr Lecture Series welcomed Kim Phuc Phan Thi to Lacombe

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

Fierce house cat spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

Wilson-Raybould to reveal more details, documents on SNC-Lavalin affair

Former attorney general has written to the House of Commons justice committee

Anti-discrimination group wants to map offenders with cross-Canada hate atlas

Morgane Oger Foundation issues call for volunteers to help build Canadian Atlas of Populist Extremism

GM announces jobs, electric vehicle after Trump criticism

The company says it will spend $300 million at its plant in Orion Township

Trucker who caused Broncos crash likely to be deported: lawyer

The Crown has asked that Sidhu serve 10 years in prison

China chemical plant blast kills 47, injures hundreds more

This is one of China’s worst industrial accidents in recent years

Most Read