Misuse of smoking materials may have caused duplex fire

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Erica Fisher

Erica is a reporter for Moose FM and energeticcity.ca in Fort St. John, B.C. She grew up in Victoria, B.C. and received her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.

“We couldn’t find any smoking materials such as cigarette butts or anything like that, discarded ashtrays, but it’s the only possible source of ignition.” 

Although the tenants of the duplex on 89A Street are smokers, they claim they hadn’t been smoking in the home. However, they had had friends over earlier who were smokers. 

“It could have been them, but it’s unknown,” adds Caughill. 

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The RCMP investigation has also found the fire to be non-criminal in nature. 

Firefighters have been able to narrow down the point of origin to the living room in the back of the building on the main floor. Contrary to what was first reported, only one person was at home at the time of the blaze, and he was woken up by the smoke detector while sleeping upstairs. 

“The smoke detector did wake him up, and with that it saved his life,” argues Caughill. “Had the smoke detector not worked, he would not have survived that fire.” 

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the dog that was in the residence at the time. The animal got trapped in a room upstairs and was found deceased by investigators. 

The residents of the adjacent suite have been allowed inside to gather their belongings, but likely won’t be able to occupy their suite again due to the extensive damage to their neighbours.

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