April 9, 2018 9:17 pm

Family of Kelowna fire victim wants to set the record straight


Nearly a month after the fact, the daughter of a Kelowna woman who died in a house fire is speaking out.

Amanda Dubuque wants to set the record straight about how her mother died.

The fire happened March 13 at a residence on Springfield Road where a family of four lived, including Amanda’s mother, Loree.

Initial reports had indicated that Loree died when she ran back into the burning house to save a dog.

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“Michael, the male occupant, [and] owner of the house was very distraught because apparently his wife had gone back into the house to retrieve a pet,” neighbour Mickey Cooke said on the day of the fire.

But Amanda said that’s not what happened.

“She ran to the back of the hall to try and escape through a window,” Amanda said. “The Coroner told me that she tried to close the door and that she inhaled fumes and collapsed right in front of the door.”

Dubuque said it makes perfect sense that her mother was found in a backroom because 16 months prior to last month’s fire, the same house had caught fire and that’s how her mother managed to escape the flames – by crawling out of a bedroom window.

She added it doesn’t make sense that her mother would risk her life to save a dog, which was found dead in a separate room.

Amanda said the dog was 16 years old and was going to die anyway.

She believes that her mother, while trying to escape the home, was pushed back by a wall of flames — a backdraft that was generated when her spouse Michael opened the front door while he and his two sons were escaping.

Amanda said her mother’s body was found intact in the room and that she died from smoke inhalation.

“She was a very smart lady, and I don’t want people to think that she was a fool,” Amanda said.

The cause of the fire has been ruled as electrical.

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