HOUSE FIRE KILLS ONE

The Prince George Citizen - - Front Page - Citizen staff

A 40-year-old man has died from in­juries sus­tained in an ex­plo­sion house fire Satur­day on Chi­lako.

Po­lice say four adult males were trans­ported to hospi­tal for treat­ment of in­juries sus­tained dur­ing the in­ci­dent. The other three men are ex­pected to sur­vive. A dog also did not sur­vive.

Front­line of­fi­cers ar­rived min­utes af­ter get­ting the re­port at about 9:15 p.m. Satur­day to find the home en­gulfed in flames.

Of­fi­cers pro­vided emer­gency care to the in­jured and evac­u­ated nearby res­i­dences.

The cause of the fire is still un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion and the site has been se­cured.

Wit­nesses and video ev­i­dence show the oc­cu­pants of the house were han­dling large quan­ti­ties of gaso­line.

On Tues­day morn­ing, RCMP fire in­ves­ti­ga­tors were on the scene with mem­bers of the RCMP’s foren­sic iden­ti­fi­ca­tion sec­tion to gather ev­i­dence to de­ter­mine whether the in­ci­dent is of a crim­i­nal na­ture.

The res­i­dence is well known to po­lice and has been the sub­ject of po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tions in the past.

Larry Fur­manczyk lives on Chi­lako Street and had just gone to bed when he heard the first of sev­eral ex­plo­sions. Fur­manczyk said the house is no­to­ri­ous in the neigh­bour­hood and is known to po­lice, who have vis­ited the oc­cu­pants sev­eral times in the time he’s lived there.

“I just heard a big boom and I rec­og­nized a flash of light and it sub­sided be­fore the house was to­tally en­gulfed in flames,” said Fur­manczyk. “The cops know about that place for a num­ber of years. It’s been go­ing on for a lit­tle while. I think all the peo­ple in the neigh­bour­hood were hop­ing the last time would be it, and who­ever the owner is they would have made sure no­body ne­far­i­ous was com­ing into the neigh­bour­hood.”

Maria Branco was at her home a few houses away when the fire erupted.

“My dog barked and I went to the win­dow and I saw the flames com­ing up,” said Branco. “Af­ter it started burn­ing I heard some bangs. I did go out­side but I wasn’t al­lowed to go down that way.

“The neigh­bours all called it the drug house or the crack house. There was a lot of ac­tiv­ity went on around there. It was not a safe place. This area is a nice place to live and I think right now that’s a good clean-up.”

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