1 smoke detector working in fire that killed 3 family members


We have new information from the investigators looking into the cause of the house fire that killed three family members on Hamilton mountain.

Fire officials say that at least one of the two smoke detectors was in working order when they tested it today.

They also said that one body was found just inside the front door and the three family members died of smoke inhalation.

Halla Elbasha, her son Sammy Khalil, who was in his 20’s, and her teenage daughter Sarah, who had mobility issues, couldn’t make it out of the house in time when a fire started in the basement in the middle of the night. Flames never reached upstairs.

They found two smoke detectors in the house – one in the basement and the other on the main level where the bedrooms are.

The one in the basement was too damaged to test if it worked or not.

The other one did work when they tested it Friday. Neither of them had batteries but they were hardwired so it should have gone off, but several neighbours and fire crews didn’t hear any alarms.

Cityhousing Hamilton, which owns the home, says the smoke detectors were working when they were checked earlier this month.

Elbasha had another son who is away at school.

Today on facebook Samson Khalil wrote:

“Thanks everyone for your love and support, I really do appreciate it and hope none of you ever have to deal with anything like this. Never miss a chance to tell people around you that you love them.”

CHCH reached out to family members who live in St. Catharines – they were too upset to speak with us but say they’re making funeral arrangements.

It could be a few weeks before they determine the cause of the fire.


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