Fa­ther seeks an­swers af­ter son’s death in fire

‘I would have run through flames and died with my child so he wasn’t alone.’

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - NI­COLE O’REILLY

Chance Landry says his son’s death will haunt him for the rest of his life.

At just three years old, Cay­den Decker-Landry died af­ter fire broke out in the base­ment apart­ment of a family mem­ber’s home at 240 Golden Or­chard Dr., where the boy and his mom were liv­ing.

“Cay­den was the kid that had enough life in him to pick ev­ery­one around him up when they were down,” said his dad in Sud­bury, where he lives.

“If you had a bad day, he would just stand in front of you and hold his fin­ger in his nose just to make you laugh, or to get your mind off what­ever was both­er­ing you.”

Now Landry says he’s con­sumed with the thought that his son was alone and scared dur­ing his last con­scious mo­ments.

“I would have run through flames and died with my child so he wasn’t alone.”

Neigh­bours said his mom, Su­san Decker, was up­stairs when the fire happened around 10 a.m. May 1. She came out cry­ing that her baby was down­stairs.

By the time fire­fight­ers ar­rived, flames were shoot­ing out of the base­ment win­dow. They searched for sev­eral min­utes be­fore find­ing the blond boy, who by then had in­haled too much smoke.

At the time of the fire, Cay­den’s par­ents were in the midst of a cus­tody bat­tle, with his dad want­ing the three-year-old to re­turn to Sud­bury and live with him and Chance Jr., his 10-year-old brother.

The boys also have a sis­ter who lives at an­other ad­dress. The death no­tice also says Cay­den has an­other brother.

At the scene this week, the base­ment apart­ment windows re­mained boarded up. Smoke dam­age stains the front en­try­way. A dam­aged high chair leans against the side of the house.

Mes­sages to Decker and other family mem­bers were not an­swered.

A GoFundMe ac­count set up by a family to sup­port funeral ex­penses called the fire a “tragedy.” Cas­san­draa Buck­land, a cousin, said: “Cay­den’s mother Su­san is OK, but an emo­tional wreck at this time.”

The Hamil­ton po­lice homi­cide unit is lead­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the death be­cause of a pro­vin­cial pro­to­col man­dat­ing po­lice in­ves­ti­gate all sud­den deaths of chil­dren un­der five.

“There is no sense that (the fire) was de­lib­er­ately set,” said Det. St. Peter Thom.

The On­tario Of­fice of the Fire Mar­shal is as­sist­ing with the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, work­ing to re­con­struct the fire scene off­site to help de­ter­mine the ex­act cause.

Thom said the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, in­clud­ing wait­ing for a fire mar­shal’s re­port, is ex­pected to take months.

Landry met with Thom when he came to Hamil­ton for his son’s funeral last week.

Cay­den was “the hap­pi­est lit­tle guy,” Landry said, re­call­ing a busy, but fun week he spent with his son in March — the last time he saw him.

Landry said he had ex­pressed con­cern about Cay­den’s safety be­fore the fire, par­tic­u­larly af­ter the boy had al­legedly been found wan­der­ing out­side un­su­per­vised.

Thom said po­lice are aware of the “family dy­namic” and will in­ves­ti­gate that if nec­es­sary.

Now Landry said he needs to find an­swers to what re­ally happened.

“I will ad­vo­cate for him from here on out, and will not give up till I know ex­actly what happened that hor­rific day.”


Cay­den Decker-Landry, 3, died when a fire broke out in a Moun­tain home where he and his mother were stay­ing.

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