LONDON, ONT. -- One man is dead and a pet dog has perished after fire ripped through a north London townhouse late Wednesday night.

Ontario Fire Marshal Acting Supervisor Dave Emberlin says the outcome could have been different.

“There’s no working smoke alarms in this unit. And had there been, the occupant probably would have made it out of the house safely.”

Around 11:40 p.m. Wednesday, fire crews responded to a blaze at 48 Arbour Glen Cres. after receiving 911 calls from neighbours.

When they arrived they found heavy smoke coming from the unit. Once inside they found the bodies of a man and a dog.

“They were able to quickly contain the fire, which was contained to the unit,” says London Fire Department Platoon Chief Colin Shewell.

“Smoke did migrate to the north and south units, however, our crews did monitoring of the air in those units and were deemed safe.”

The area is populated with family townhomes and highrise apartments. Neighbours says the community is tight-knit, and the loss is going to hurt.

Moses Latigo, who lives two doors down, said he often exchanged pleasantries with the victim, who lived alone.

“Through the night we sent out messages to friends and family and you know at this moment we are just at the ready to see what we can do to support each other.”

According to the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal, there have been 29 fire fatalities in Ontario so far this year, not including this incident.

Emberlin says most fatalities are the result of not having working smoke alarms.

“We can’t stress enough to people, you have to have working smoke alarms. It’s the law. Working smoke alarms save lives.”

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.