October 12, 2017 8:25 pm

No sign of missing Penticton senior’s body after house fire

A major fire destroyed two homes in Penticton Wednesday night. One woman remains unaccounted for.

Shelby Thom/Global Okanagan

Fire officials in Penticton have been unable to find the body of an elderly woman who is missing after a destructive fire Wednesday evening.

The blaze engulfed one home on Lakeside Drive and seriously damaged another.

At a Thursday afternoon news conference, Penticton Fire Chief Larry Watkinson said that they combed through the wreckage twice but have been unable to locate the missing senior’s body.

READ MORE: Neighbours grieve for Penticton senior who remains missing after fire

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Watkinson said the case will be turned over to RCMP to investigate as a missing persons file.

“In my experience, [a fire] of this size and capacity doesn’t have the burn rate to destroy human remains completely. Certainly the fire will create chars and burns but the fall down of the roof of this structure would’ve likely covered that individual, protected them from direct flame impingement. There would’ve been fire burns but not a complete disposal of the body,” Watkinson said.

“We feel unclosed on this event,” Watkinson said.

“We would’ve liked to have had some closure — finding the victim — but maybe there is hope here now.”

Neighbours said the missing woman was in her 90s and is deaf and blind.

Officials are asking anyone with information about the woman’s whereabouts to come forward.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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