RCMP have confirmed a fatality in Friday night’s house fire on Rodello Street near Downey Avenue in Comox.
Comox Fire Rescue received the call at 8:14 p.m.
Assistant Fire Chief Jim Lariviere lives in the area, and he could tell the fire was significant instantly.
“As soon as I stepped out the door, I could hear it,” he said.
When the team of firefighters arrived, the house was fully involved. In all, Comox Fire Rescue sent three trucks and 24 firefighters to the scene to tackle the fire. They were on the scene for about four hours.
“An 87-year-old man was located inside the residence,” said Comox Valley RCMP media relations officer, Const. Monika Terragni. “Unfortunately, despite the lifesaving measures provided by Comox firefighters and Emergency Health Services, the man succumbed to his injuries at the scene.”
The firefighters spent Saturday morning back at the scene to finish their clean-up and investigation.
RCMP said investigators have examined all of the evidence at the scene and determined that the fire was not criminal in nature. The BC Coroners Service is conducting a concurrent fact-finding investigation to determine cause of death.
Witnesses told the Record there were neighbours outside banging on the house and looking for anyone who may have been around the scene.
“The fire was very loud and we heard it from the other end of the block,” Tracey Court said, adding probably a third to a half of the house looked burned.
Some trees on the property started to catch fire as well, but the firefighters were able to extinguish them. Lariviere said the fact it has been raining of late helped keep the fire from spreading through the trees. He referred to a previous fire in the area during the summer where the trees posed a bigger challenge because of dry conditions.
“It does depend on the time of year,” he added.