Firefighters stress importance of smoke detectors after deadly fire
Published Wednesday, August 8, 2018 3:35PM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, August 8, 2018 7:05PM PDT
Vancouver residents are being urged to check their smoke detectors following a fire that gutted a family's home and killed a downstairs tenant.
The blaze broke out Tuesday morning near Skeena Street and East 3rd Avenue, sending a huge plume of smoke into the air over East Vancouver.
Tragically, firefighters found a resident dead inside the home after the flames were extinguished.
Investigators haven't revealed how the fire started, but Acting Chief David Boone said they're confident it was an accident.
"We've ruled out any foul play here," Boone told reporters at a news conference Wednesday.
Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services also wouldn't confirm whether the home had working fire alarms, but Boone spent much of the news conference stressing the devices' importance.
"We would like to remind … all of the citizens to never leave cooking unattended, and to have working smoke alarms and working carbon monoxide alarms," Boone said.
"We have had six fire deaths in 2018 in the City of Vancouver, and the multiple fire fatalities to date have been directly linked to a lack of working smoke alarms."
Working detectors aren't even necessarily enough when it comes to homes with multiple units or floors. Firefighters recommend all smoke detectors be linked so people who are upstairs and downstairs when a fire breaks out can be alerted at the same time.
They also advise people to keep an extinguisher at an accessible spot in their kitchen, and to have escape plans ready for emergency situations.
Authorities haven't released the name of the downstairs tenant, but the homeowner, Sesaiya Ramlu, told CTV News the man's name was Peter and that he was from Kenya.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Penny Daflos