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Man found dead after Nanaimo house fire

Firefighters say smoke alarm may have saved life of next-door neighbour
A boarded-up window on a home in the 100 block of Adams Avenue is the only outside evidence of a fire that claimed the life of a man in Nanaimo on Friday, May 27. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

A man was discovered dead by firefighters when they responded to a fire in house in Nanaimo on the the weekend.

David Dales, Nanaimo Fire Rescue assistant chief, said Nanaimo Fire Rescue responded to a residence in the 100 block of Adams Avenue after receiving several 911 calls at about 9:30 p.m. Friday, May 27, and went into “rescue mode” upon their arrival.

“They entered the suite where they wee met by smoke and flame,” Dales said. “They quickly searched the suite and, tragically, the single male resident was found deceased.”

Firefighters then focused their attention on knocking down the fire while other firefighters rescued a neighbour who lives in an adjoining suite in the house.

Dales said firefighters initially treated the fire as a rescue because of information they received from a neighbour that someone was in the burning suite.

“Our firefighters were supported by other incoming firefighters. They were able to get to the seat of the fire and then the neighbour was treated by B.C. Ambulance paramedics on scene for some minor smoke inhalation,” Dales said.

He was not able to confirm the age of the man who was found deceased other than to say he was elderly and that the woman who lived in the second suite of the house was a similar age. Neither of the occupants had pets.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue engines from four fire halls responded to the scene along with Nanaimo RCMP and B.C. Coroners Service.

The woman living in the second suite is temporarily displaced because power to the building was cut during the firefighting operation.

The cause of the fire has not been determined and is still under investigation.

Dales said the residence had working smoke detectors, which alerted people to call 911 for a fast response by firefighters.

“The working smoke detectors alerted the neighbour next door early enough and she was able to activate 911, but yet, through the best efforts of our firefighters, in a very hot, smoky environment, tragically there was someone deceased found, ” he said.

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Chris Bush

About the Author: Chris Bush

As a photographer/reporter with the Nanaimo News Bulletin since 1998.
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