Middlesex OPP have identified the 21-year-old man who died in Tuesday night’s house fire in Dorchester.
Emergency crews responded to 151 Oakwood Drive at around 6p.m. and found thick smoke coming from the home.
Three people were inside the home at the time, but a 19-year-old man managed to escape on his own.
Bob Lupa, who lives a couple of houses down, was eating dinner with his wife when one of his neighbours alerted him to the blaze. The pair rushed over to the home, and spoke to the 19-year-old.
“He had singed hair and he was crying, I believe he was distraught, and I said to him, ‘Where’s Ryan? Where’s Ryan?’ and he just said, ‘I just threw a firecracker at his head,’ and I said, ‘Where’s Ryan?’ and then he was swearing, asking where the fire department was.”
Lupa and his neighbour tried to gain entry into the home, but the smoke and flames were too overwhelming. They tried to douse the flames with a hose before firefighters arrived at the scene.
“Once the firefighters got there, they were back and forth, so I got the heck out of their way,” said Lupa, who was also treated in hospital for smoke inhalation.
The 19-year-old who escaped on his own was treated and released from hospital.
Dorchester Fire-Rescue pulled the remaining two people from the home. A 21-year-old man was found with vital signs absent.
He’s been identified as Ryan Parsons of Thames Centre. An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.
The other person pulled from the home, a 19-year-old female, remains in hospital in critical condition.
OPP Sgt. Dave Rektor tells AM980 the official cause of the fire has not been determined.
“In cases like this, the Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office is contacted whenever there is serious injury or death, and they’ll take the lead on the investigation as it pertains to the fire,” said Rektor. “The OPP Criminal Investigations Unit out of Middlesex will also do a parallel investigation of the other circumstances.
A damage estimate has not been released.