Suspicious Oshawa fire now investigated as homicide

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Published March 7, 2023 at 9:47 pm

The investigation into a fatal fire in Oshawa previously deemed suspicious has now officially been labelled a murder case.

Fire erupted in the small house at 99 Court St. around 10 a.m. on March 5. The home sits in downtown Oshawa just south of the Tribute Communities Centre.

Oshawa Fire Services announced around that time that one person had been found dead in the home. The cause of death was not available at the time. Firefighters quickly gained control of the blaze, which had spread throughout the home, and soon extinguished it.

The following day Oshawa Fire Chief Derrick Clark deemed the fire suspicious. He said the scene appear to show that someone had deliberately set three fires in different sections of the home.

An autopsy has since been conducted on the victim, an unidentified man in his 50s. The coroner found the man had suffered an unspecified trauma prior to his death which indicated murder.

Investigators continue their attempts to identify the dead man.

“We are asking for anyone with information or video footage, including dashcam and home surveillance, to please contact police,” Durham Regional Police said.

This is the fifth murder in Durham Region and second in Oshawa in 2023 following the stabbing death of John Genereux, 66 in Uxbridge on January, the murder of Ken Chopee, 58, in Oshawa on Jan. 27, and the shooting of Aram Kamel and Rafad Alzubaidy in Bowmanville on Feb. 4.

Anyone with information about the Court St. fire can call Det. McDermott of the Major Crimes Homicide Unit at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 5411 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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