Canada Oshawa fire hero remembered for life of selfless acts

15:22  10 january  2018
15:22  10 january  2018 Source:   Toronto Star

Remains found in Oshawa basement apartment belong to Rori Hache, police say

  Remains found in Oshawa basement apartment belong to Rori Hache, police say Remains found in Oshawa basement apartment belong to Rori Hache, police sayOn Friday, police confirmed that remains that were found in a basement apartment in late December belong to 18-year-old Hache.

Oshawa fire hero remembered for life of selfless acts . “And how much happiness she brought to the life of other people even though she was so young,” Honsberger added. Talking about Jackson, 4, she called him a sweet little boy.

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Laura Green was smoking outside when she saw a nearby house in downtown Oshawa shake severely enough to make the snow fall off the roof.

She saw an orange glow emanate from one of the windows, and seconds later, people were running out into the street without shoes, screaming that there was a fire.

Green said she saw her neighbour Steven Macdonald run out of the house, only to watch him return inside. She said he tried to extinguish the flames that were, at this point, more than half a metre high. He emerged from the building with his pregnant daughter Alysha, she said.

Alysha Macdonald and her father Steven Macdonald, who died after saving her from an Oshawa house fire on Monday.© Provided by Toronto Star Alysha Macdonald and her father Steven Macdonald, who died after saving her from an Oshawa house fire on Monday.

But once he heard someone scream “my baby!,” he ran back in without hesitation to look for anybody else trapped, Green said.

Police locate teen girl's remains, whose torso was found in Oshawa harbour in September

  Police locate teen girl's remains, whose torso was found in Oshawa harbour in September The remains of 18-year-old Rori Hache, whose torso was found floating in the Oshawa Harbour in September after she was reported missing by her family at the end of August, have been located, according to police. On Dec. 29, Durham Regional Police discovered the body parts inside a Mcmillan Dr. apartment in Oshawa. Const. George Tudos wouldn’t discuss what body parts police found in the home out of respect for Hache’s family. He noted that there’s much investigative work to be done at the basement apartment in Oshawa. “It’s an enormous task,” Tudos said. “There’s a lot of evidence that needs to be processed and we’ll be there for at least a month.” In the same location, police found a “suspicious package,” which was later identified as an explosive device and disposed of by the Explosive Disposal Unit. On Sept. 11, Hache’s torso was discovered in the water after she was declared missing by her family on Aug. 29. A fisherman found the torso, according to Tudos, and DNA testing came back in early November matching it to the missing teen. The city’s homicide unit took over the investigation, and, while an autopsy did not show the cause of death, significant trauma was found to the torso. Adam Jeffrey Strong, 45, was arrested in connection to her death, which has been ruled suspicious by police. Strong has been charged with improper or indecent interference with a dead body, and police are awaiting a post-mortem to find out whether the death can be considered a homicide, according to police. No information about any possible relationship of Hache and Strong has been released by police. Police are asking anyone with new information to contact Det. Short (Ext. 5407) or Det. Dorego (ext. 5319) of the Major Crime, Homicide Unit at 1-888-579-1520.

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After he went inside for a second time, Green said, the front entrance was blocked by a wall of fire.

“I knew he was going to have to find an alternate route to get out of the house if he was going to survive,” Green said.

Jordan Coutu, who witnessed Macdonald’s second trip into the house, saw him call out through an open window.

“He was saying that he couldn’t find the kids,” said Coutu, referring to nine-year-old Madeline and four-year-old Jackson, who died in the fire Monday morning with their mother, Lindsey Bonchek.

“He was trying to get the kids and trying to get someone else.”

Macdonald did not make it out of the burning house.

At 50 years old, his life ended as his friends said he lived it: with pure selflessness and a natural instinct to help others.

Four people die after head-on collision in Pickering

  Four people die after head-on collision in Pickering A fourth person has died in hospital after a two-vehicle collision in Pickering on Thursday. Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Sgt. Kerry Schmidt confirmed that a fourth person — a 25-year-old Oshawa woman — died in hospital after she was transported in critical condition to Markham Stouffville Hospital following the crash. Three people, all from Oshawa, died on scene around 12:10 p.m. on Hwy. 7 near Sideline 26. OPP Staff Sgt. Dean Korn said that a westbound BMW attempted to pass a vehicle, lost control and then slammed head-on into a Mercedes-Benz driving east. Schmidt said the roads were snow-covered at the time and that may have been a factor in the car losing control. Korn said the driver of the Mercedes-Benz was taken to hospital with minor injuries. Schmidt has identified the victims of the crash as 69-year-old Diosdado Chahal, who was the driver, 27-year-old Dhoser Chahal, 70-year-old Imelda Chahal and 25-year-old Hayley Doyling, all from Oshawa.

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“He’s just the kind of guy that would do anything for you, it’s just ridiculous how he would go out of his way,” said Chris Mayer, a friend of Macdonald’s who knew him for about 30 years.

Mayer recounted a time when he needed to see his family up at his cottage in Havelock, where he and Macdonald spent a lot of time together, but a snowstorm had his car stuck in the driveway.

“He got out of bed without me even asking him, got into his truck, drove miles away to me, shovelled the whole place . . . handed me his key, and said ‘here, go see your family.’ ”

With gestures like that, Mayer wasn’t surprised that Macdonald tried to save people in the fire. Macdonald’s daughter Alysha is seven months pregnant. Because of his last act of courage, he’ll never get to meet his granddaughter.

“He was so looking forward to that. He had bought so much baby clothes and furniture and walkers,” Mayer said.

Macdonald is also survived by his two daughters, Alysha and Meaghan.

Mother and her 2 children among 4 dead in 'horrific' Oshawa house fire

  Mother and her 2 children among 4 dead in 'horrific' Oshawa house fire A mother and her daughter and son are among four people dead after a fire tore through a multi-resident dwelling in Oshawa, Ont., early Monday in what officials are now calling "one of the worst events" the city has experienced in years. The blaze broke out shortly after 8 a.m. ET at the house on Centre Street North and Colborne Street West, near Bond and Simcoe streets, Oshawa Fire Services said. When crews arrived on scene, Chief Derrick Clark said they encountered "heavy fire and heavy smoke conditions" and a snowstorm descending on the area. Environment Canada expects 10 centimetres of snow to fall throughout the day.

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Alex Robertson, a longtime friend of Macdonald, said he “would give the shirt off his back” to help anyone.

Robertson met Macdonald about 30 years ago, and Macdonald quickly hired Robertson to work for his roofing company.

“He actually stopped on the side of the road and gave me a job, that’s the kind of guy he was.”

Macdonald’s final act of selflessness represented his natural instinct to help others, Robertson said.

“The thing about Steve is it wouldn’t have mattered who was in there and who told him not to go back in, he was going back in to make sure everybody was okay,” Robertson said.

“That’s just Steve, there would have been no stopping him.”

Quebec fire forces 200 residents outdoors .
An overnight fire forced about 200 people from their apartments in the Montreal suburb of Longueuil, Que. No one was injured in the fire, which authorities say began at about 2:45 a.m., in an electrical room connecting two high-rise buildingsThe residents were evacuated in temperatures of about -18 C and they were allowed back in once the fire was brought under control and the smoke had cleared.This blaze was not far from an intense apartment fire in Longueuil's Saint-Hubert section on Monday night which left as many as 60 people homeless.

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