Friends and family of teen who died in Orléans fire shocked by her death

Friends and family of teen who died in Orléans fire shocked by her death

Friends and family of the teen who died in a house fire in Orléans say they are shocked and saddened by her death.

Courtney Scott's body was discovered in her foster home Friday afternoon after Ottawa fire crews were called to the 1100 block of Old Montreal Road. Firefighters say all the residents — except the 16-year-old — escaped the incident unharmed.

"I didn't want to believe it," said Courtney's mother Sheila Scott. "She was really a wonderful girl. She had a lot of joy. Especially when [she was] around family. Her real family."

Originally from Fort Albany First Nation, Scott said she was at her home last Saturday near Timmins, Ont., when she was told her daughter had died. The mother of six had lost custody of her children in 2003 and hadn't seen her 16-year-old in a year and a half.

"They should've contacted me as soon as possible. Like ASAP. It happened Friday at 2:30 p.m," she said.

Scott wants to know the circumstances surrounding her daughter's death and why it took so long for her to be notified about it.

The foster home where Courtney Scott lived is operated by Stepping Stones, a private residential provider licensed by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services. On Tuesday, they put out a statement saying they were cooperating fully with investigators.

'She was very sweet'

Heidi Quayle, a fetal alcohol specialist in Cobourg, Ont., worked with Scott for about a year when she lived in a foster home there. 

"She was very sweet. She was not hardened at all," said Quayle. "Just a very loving person."

"She did have fetal alcohol spectrum disorder," she said. "I was asked to work with her because of my understanding of fetal alcohol spectrum and how that affects the brain."

Quayle said Scott's brain injury made her quite vulnerable at times. "[It] did cause her to get into trouble but it was never in an oppositional or defiant way. It was more because she would misjudge or fall in with the wrong crowd."

One of the things Quayle worked on with Scott was building up her confidence because she often forgot things and doubted herself as a result.

"She had real struggles there and she was victimized at times by people who took advantage of that," said Quayle.

The Office of the Fire Marshal said Wednesday the fire has been deemed not suspicious and said the regional coroner's office is taking the lead in the investigation.