A 79-year-old man died after a fire swept through his Alberta Street home.
The man had lived for many years in the home at 343 Alberta St., where the fire occurred at about 6: 30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 11. Fire Chief Tim Armstrong said crews arrived at the house, saw heavy smoke and fire coming out of the rear of the home and started to attack the home by going in the front door.
"Upon trying to gain entry, the captain in charge felt there was something blocking the door. He managed to move it and found an elderly gentleman collapsed behind the door," he said. "It seemed to be an attempt to exit the building."
Although the man didn't have any vital signs when firefighters removed him from the building, Armstrong said they performed CPR on him at the site. Advanced life support paramedics also attempted to revive the man, who was transported to Royal Columbian Hospital.
"They worked on him at the hospital," he said. "He succumbed to his injuries."
The cause of death hasn't been determined, but Armstrong said all indications are that it was due to smoke inhalation.
While one crew worked medically on the man, the other crews extinguished the fire that caused extensive damage to the small bungalow.
"It began somewhere in the kitchen area," Armstrong said. "I don't want to lead you to believe it's cooking related."
Investigators were still determining the cause of the fire at The Record's press time.
"There was a lot of heat in the building, just the intensity of the fire," Armstrong said.
The man was the lone occupant of the home, which sustained substantial damage.
"We talked to some of the neighbours. He is a longtime neighbour on the street," he said. "As much as he kept to himself, he was social and did chat regularly with the neighbours. Very unfortunate."
Armstrong said the fire department has ordered a critical stress incident debriefing because the fire involved a fatality. He said that's a step taken when firefighters respond to motor vehicle accidents with multiple deaths, traumatic events involving children or fire deaths.