RCMP and fire investigators say there was nothing suspicious about a fatal fire in Wilson Creek on Friday, May 10. The Sechelt Fire Department got called out to 4491 Hupit St. on shíshálh Nation lease lands around 3 a.m. after neighbours spotted the fire and phoned 911.
Fire prevention officer Matt Gilroy told Coast Reporter on Tuesday that the first crews were on the scene within eight minutes, by which time the building, a double-wide mobile home, was fully engulfed in flame.
The neighbours had tried to alert anyone in the home by pounding on doors and windows, but it wasn’t until firefighters could get inside the building that the victim, a man in his early 60s, was found. The man’s name is not being released at this time.
RCMP and the Sechelt Fire Department have been conducting a joint investigation into the cause of the fire. Gilroy said investigators have narrowed the possible cause of the fire to suspected malfunctions or electrical faults in either an oil heater, fan or extension cord found in the room where the fire started. Further tests are underway to confirm what happened.
The BC Coroners Service is also investigating and described its probe this week as being “in the early stages.”
The May 10 fire was the eighth Sunshine Coast fire departments have responded to since April 27, including three other structure fires.
On April 30, fire severely damaged a home in Roberts Creek – the cause is listed as “undetermined” but not suspicious.
On May 2, an unoccupied mobile home on Chaster Road in Elphinstone, described by RCMP as “derelict,” was destroyed. RCMP said the fire was human caused, but not suspicious and remains under investigation.
On May 9, a fire caused by a smouldering cigarette in an outdoor planter left a residential unit at the Pier 17 building in Davis Bay uninhabitable and led to water damage at businesses in the building.
Of the four brush fires over that time, the most serious was a controlled burn that spread on April 30 in Halfmoon Bay, leading to the evacuation of eight homes. Officials are still investigating, but confirmed that the people conducting the burn did not have a permit.