Family grieves son, 20, as they rebuild lives after Orléans fire


Axel Karuranga  Source: Ottawa Matters

A friend has launched a fundraising effort for a grieving family who lost their home and 20-year-old son and brother in a fire in Orléans Wednesday.

Axel Karuranga died in the fire that also cost his family — Pamela, Michael, Gael and Jacqueline — their Fallingbrook-area home, friend Sabrina April wrote in a Go Fund Me appeal that had already raised more than $18,000 Thursday.

“Losing a house and starting from scratch is horrible, doing so without your son or brother is unbearable,” she said, adding that “together we can make a real difference and take some stress away from the Karuranga family.”

The fundraising effort, which aims to raise $25,000, will help the family pay for Axel’s funeral and buy clothes, food and household items, she said.

Firefighters were called to the family’s Boake Street townhouse at 6:52 a.m. Wednesday.

The caller was able to escape safely but reported someone was still inside on the smoke-filled third floor.

The first firefighters on the scene found heavy, black smoke coming from a roof vent and blackened windows. Their first priority was to find and rescue the young man, the fire department said. Other crews launched a rapid attack that had the fire out within 20 minutes, protecting adjacent homes.

Firefighters pulled the man from the home and began resuscitation efforts until paramedics soon arrived but he was in critical condition and succumbed to his injuries.

A woman who lived in the home was taken to the hospital with smoke inhalation and a firefighter suffered minor injuries.

The Office of the Fire Marshal is involved in the investigation.

Source: Ottawa Citizen