Girl, 2, drowns in north Toronto pool

Emergency crews rushed to this home on Melrose Ave. after a girl, 2, drowned in a pool. (VERONICA...

Emergency crews rushed to this home on Melrose Ave. after a girl, 2, drowned in a pool. (VERONICA HENRI/QMI Agency)

TAMARA CHERRY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:00 PM ET

There were two young children plucked from separate waters in the GTA Saturday — one of them dead, one of them alive, marking the first day of National Drowning Prevention Week.

Emergency crews were first called to a backyard Melrose Ave. pool, near Avenue Rd. and Lawrence Ave., where a two-year-old girl was plucked from the water just before 2 p.m., Toronto Police Sgt. Tyrone Hilton said at the scene, where the house was roped off with police tape.

CPR and an emergency run by ambulance to Sick Kids hospital was not enough to save the youngster, who was nearly three years old, Hilton said.

While some neighbours were too upset to speak, others said they hope the case will highlight the need for pool safety.

“First and foremost, my heart goes out to the family,” one man said, asking that his name not be printed.

“There were about nine people who came out of the house, including an older brother, I think about seven (years old),” the man said, adding most people piled into a second ambulance to the hospital. “How come of all those people, how could not one person be more aware of this two-year-old who couldn’t fend for herself?

“When all of them came out of the house, none of them were wearing bathing suits,” he added.

Neighbourhood resident Alyson Pancer said she knows first-hand how important water safety is — both as a social worker who has counselled grieving families and as a woman whose 9-year-old cousin drowned at a Cleveland day camp while diving for pennies about 15 years ago.

“I think that these are very senseless, preventable deaths,” Pancer said. “I really believe that as adults, we have to take caution...to keep these little ones safe.”

About three hours after the tot drowned, two Durham Regional Police officers who were on pay duty at a community event rushed into the waters of Lake Ontario to save a little boy.

The officers were near Simcoe St. S. in Oshawa when they were somehow alerted to a boy, believed to be about 11 years old, who was “obviously in distress,” Staff-Sgt. Sean Fitzgerald said.

“They went into the water and basically saved the young person and brought him into shore,” Fitzgerald said. “It was quite deep water. It was definitely over the officers’ heads.”

The boy was taken to a local hospital where he was expected to make a full recovery, Fitzgerald said.

There have been several drownings around Ontario since the warm weather began attracting people to pools and beaches last month.

Saturday marked the first day of the Lifesaving Society’s National Drowning Prevention Week.

tamara.cherry@sunmedia.ca


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