Fatal Southridge Trailer Park explosion caused by gas leak

RCMP deemed the incident was not suspicious in nature early on, and Fire Prevention Officer Simon Caughill explains the investigation then went to an insurance adjusting company, who hired a private fire investigator. Caughill says he never saw the results of that report, but believes they would have been in line with what the fire department determined from its own sampling.

Future tragedies like this could be preventable, by getting furnaces serviced, and having a working carbon monoxide detector.

“It would have detected the presence of gas,” he says. “I don’t believe they had one. If they had one and it was working it would have alarmed in that condition.”

He adds they did have a smoke detector, but he is unaware of what its working condition was.

While there seems to be an increasing amount of trailer fires in the region, Caughill explains it’s not that they catch fire easier, it’s that the flames spread through them much quicker than a house.

“Things happen so quickly in trailers; you just don’t have time,” he says. “You’ve got less area. They’re better designed now than they were in the early 70’s and 80’s, but the ability to get out… the bad thing is if you’re down in one end of the trailer, you’re kind of stuck there in the event.”

He adds that trailers also have weaker foundations and everything is exposed underneath.