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Hundreds attend funeral for victims of East Gwillimbury house fire

Police tape demarking an accident scene.

JOHN LEHMANN/The GLOBE AND MA

Hundreds of mourners packed a church in Newmarket, Ont., for the funeral of four family members killed in a house fire one week ago.

The fire in the town of East Gwillimbury, north of Toronto, claimed the lives of 55-year-old Kevin Dunsmuir, his 51-year-old wife, Jennifer, and two of their sons – 16-year-old Cameron and 19-year-old Robert.

A third son, David, who was away at university when the fire broke out, spoke at the service, telling the crowd he is amazed how many lives his parents and brothers touched.

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Reading a statement by rela-tives, Neil MacCarthy with the Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto said the family is grateful for the support and sympathy coming in from the community.

The mayor of the town set up a book of condolences at a local arena, while a public memorial is planned for next week.

Fire officials say there was no smoke detector on the main floor and the one serving the upstairs was wired through the main-floor laundry room where the blaze broke out.

When the firefighters arrived, the home was fully engulfed in flames and the four victims were in a second-floor bedroom. Their escape route was blocked.

Hundreds of people dressed in black turned out for the funeral Friday, filling up the church.

Mr. MacCarthy said that support and condolences from the small community are helping family members as they grieve.

"While now departed from this life, they will remain in our hearts forever," he said, reading from the family's statement.

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"In the midst of dealing with such tremendous loss we have been comforted by the outpouring of support and sympathy from so many people over the past week. We are grateful for every gesture and kind word that has been conveyed," he said.

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