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Funeral held for family killed in East Gwillimbury house fire

More than a thousand people attended a funeral service at a Newmarket church for four family members killed in a house fire in East Gwillimbury last Friday.

Kevin Dunsmuir, 55, his wife Jennifer, 51, and their sons, Robert, 19, and Cameron, 16, died in their home at 72 Howard Ave., near Mt. Albert Road and Leslie Street last week.

The Dunsmuirs’ eldest son David, who was away at university at the time of the fire, thanked all mourners at St. Elizabeth Seton Church for giving him strength to carry the incredible weight of this tragedy, CityNews’ Tammie Sutherland reported.

His family called 911 around 5:30 a.m. on Friday but became trapped in a bedroom at the front of the home and died before firefighters could reach them.

“The people that comprised my family were larger and more impactful than could ever be described, I have done my best but my words cannot begin to reflect the quality of their character and their lives,” David Dunsmuir wrote in his family members’ obituaries.

“In the midst of dealing with such tremendous loss, we’ve been comforted by the outpouring of support and sympathy from so many over the past week,” the grieving family said in a statement read by Toronto Archdiocese communications director Neil MacCarthy before the service.

“We would respectfully ask for privacy during this most difficult time as we grieve the loss of Kevin, Jennifer, Robert and Cameron.”

A public memorial will be held next week. Details on the exact date and location will be released in the coming days.

In lieu of flowers a trust fund has been established in the family’s name for the remaining son.

Ontario Fire Marshal Tadeusz (Ted) Wieclawek said there was no working smoke detector on the main floor of the family’s home in the former village of Sharon. He blamed delayed detection of the fire for the Dunsmuirs’ deaths.

Donations can be made at any Bank of Montreal and made out to David Dunsmuir in Trust.

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