It was supposed to be a safe, affordable home for Ontarians with nowhere else to go. But inside, it was horrifying.
Tensions between the couple, which owned the house, had been simmering for years.
“They were abusive on one another,” said the neighbour, who spoke under the condition of anonymity.
“I would come home and see them tearing up the house and tearing down the fence from the back of the property.”
The neighbour said the property was a “kind of a home.” It was never meant to be an abusive environment.
“But eventually it was what happened here that ended up leading up to [the death of] a seven-year-old girl.”
The man died in a custody battle after he suffered a mental health crisis while in the care of the child’s mother.
The neighbour said a judge eventually ruled in the mother’s favour, ordering the child stay in the home while trying to find a new home for the pair.
The neighbours said this meant the house was no longer a safe place for the child. The couple was ordered back into the home and the child was moved out.
The next night, the mother called 911 to say the child had a seizure and collapsed. She said she feared for her child’s life, and so called the police.
That’s when police said the house went up in flames.
One firefighter was shot and another was injured when the mother refused to leave her house. The police and fire department rushed to the house in the hopes of saving the mother.
Police confirmed the mother had been arrested, but she was later released after being charged with careless use of a firearm.
Her arrest report said the mother began shouting at neighbours who complained about the noise caused by her.
She also said she had been watching porn and was getting in contact with her ex-husband.