MONTREAL — The three-year-old boy who died after an overnight home fire in Quebec was a "ball of energy" and the light of his mother's life, a relative said Tuesday.
Police have not released the child's name but Keven Diamond, a cousin of the child's mother, identified him as Thomas Livernoche.
Diamond said the entire family was reeling from the loss of the playful little boy.
"He was a ball of energy," he said in a phone interview.
"It was hard to get him to stop moving and playing and being happy."
Police said the fire broke out just after midnight in a single-family home in Trois-Rivieres, midway between Montreal and Quebec City.
The child's parents were both treated for shock and cuts from broken glass that were sustained when they climbed out a window.
Trois-Rivieres police spokesman Luc Mongrain said the child's father went up to the second floor to try to save the boy.
"The father tried everything (to rescue the child)," Mongrain said.
"He went upstairs but it was impossible to get back down. They (the father and the mother) climbed out the window but were unable to get the child out."
The work of firefighters was complicated by temperatures of -28 C.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Diamond said both parents were hurt in the fire, with the father sustaining serious cuts and burns on his head when he broke through the glass with his face.
Diamond, who has started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the funeral expenses, says the family is low-income and that his cousin, Johannie Livernoche, had returned to school in the hopes of getting a better job.
He's hoping to spare her an additional financial burden as she mourns her son.
"(Thomas) was her reason for living," he said. "For many in the family, he was their little angel."
He says a funeral director has already approached him to offer the family a reduced fee.
Anything raised beyond funeral expenses will be given to help the family, he said.
Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press