Man’s body found in Burton mobile home after fire

Fire chief says cause of fire not suspicious

Police and fire investigators are looking into a house fire in Burton on Saturday night that killed a man.

Burton volunteer firefighters were called to the scene of a fire at a mobile home located about a kilometre north of the community at about 9:30 p.m., says the fire chief.

On arrival, a mobile home and structure that surrounded it was fully involved, says Brian Harrop. The roof had already collapsed.

Harrop says the trailer went up like a candle when the fire got going.

“This thing was like a 50-plus-year-old trailer home, and there are two-by-fours, plywood, Gyprock, and sawdust in the walls kind-of-thing,” he added. “When they get going they are impossible.”

Harrop says the building was likely burning inside for some time before a neighbour on the property heard noises, noticed the smoke and went to investigate.

The fire was too advanced for the neighbour to get inside the building, says Harrop, so he retreated and called 9-1-1.

He says the crew — five volunteers and two trucks — spent about three hours fighting the fire.

“There was no hope of saving anything here, we just made sure it didn’t spread and just watched it burn down,” he says.

The man’s body was located that night, but left until the morning for authorities to arrive.

When the crews returned the next morning, the department helped fire and police investigators find the remains of the lone occupant — a single man — and his dog.

Harrop says foul play is not suspected. Fire investigators spent Sunday afternoon there.

An RCMP release says the BC Coroners Service has been notified and are now investigating.

“The Coroners Service’s fact-finding investigation will look to determine who died and how, where, when and by what means they came to their unexpected death,” the release states. “Efforts remain underway to positively identify the deceased and notify their family.”

The police release says foul play is not suspected in the incident.

“At this stage of the investigation criminality is not suspected in the blaze, nor the individual’s sudden death,” adds Cpl. O’Donaghey.

Harrop says this is the first time local firefighters have come across a body in a fire they’ve responded to.

He says he’s called in a counsellor to talk to volunteers if they wish.

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