HOUSE FIRE KILLS ONE
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.”